MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Felician University baseball team went down to a 15-1 defeat to Franklin Pierce University during the Northeast Challenge event on Thursday evening on Griffith Field at the Ripken Experience Complex.
Franklin Pierce is ranked No. 4 and Felician No. 10 in the preseason NCAA Division II East Region writers' poll. The Ravens were playing in their opening game of 2019.
Seniors Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa.), Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Ronnie Sessa (Chester, N.J.) were each 2 for 3 for the Golden Falcons (0-4). Aponte drove in Felician's only run, plating Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J.) with a seventh-inning single. The Golden Falcons, however, already trailed, 10-0, at the time.
Senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) homered and drove in five runs for FPU. Raven junior shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) went 4 for 5 with three runs scored.
Felician starting pitcher Michael Gutierrez (Garfield, N.J.) (0-1) worked five innings before building up a count of 96 pitches. The sophomore right-hander allowed two runs on four hits, struck out 10 batters, and walked four. The Ravens, the designated visiting team, touched Gutierrez for two runs in the top of the second inning. John Mead (Washington Township, N.J.) led off with a home run. Boria then stroked a double, advanced on a balk, and came home on Joel Lara's (Boston, Mass.) sacrifice fly.
FPU roughed up the Golden Falcon bullpen for five runs in the sixth inning, three in the seventh and five in the ninth. Raven senior righty Zach Hart (Wallingford, Conn.) gave up seven singles and struck out 11 Golden Falcons over seven innings to earn the victory.
Felician struggled in all phases. The Golden Falcons committed six errors, two passed balls, and one catcher's obstruction violation and were 0 for 3 on stolen base attempts. Seven Felician pitchers allowed 11 hits, 14 walks and a hit batsman, threw five wild pitches and were called for three balks. The game lasted 3 hours, 27 minutes.
The Golden Falcons and Ravens meet twice more this season on Mar. 16 and 17 in Lyndhurst, N.J.
Felician continues its four-day stay in Myrtle Beach by facing LIU Post on Friday at 4 p.m.