Baseball Shut Down By NAIA Power St. Thomas

(Photo by Dave Schofield)
(Photo by Dave Schofield)

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Felician University baseball team was limited to five base hits and surrendered three unearned runs in a 5-1 non-conference baseball loss to host St. Thomas (Fla.) University on Saturday afternoon at Mainieri Field.

St. Thomas (14-6) is ranked No. 12 nationally in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Senior left-hander Kenny Roder (Hoboken, N.J.) (3-1) went the distance on the mount for the Bobcats. Needing only 94 pitches for a nine-inning complete game, Roder struck out nine batters and walked one in his five-hitter.

The game remained scoreless for 3 ½ innings before St. Thomas broke through against Felician junior lefty Jason Polgano (Bronx, N.Y.) (0-1) in the fourth. Michael Centeno (Miami, Fla.) led off with a double and came home two outs later on a single by Randy Oliva (Tampa, Fla.).

The Bobcats then used two hits, a Felician error, a sacrifice fly, a stolen base and a wild pitch to plate three runs in the fifth.

Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J.) doubled to right field with one out in the sixth and scored two batters later on a single by Andrew LaMura (Brick, N.J.). But that was the only dent in the line of Roder all afternoon. Felician hit into double plays in both the seventh and eighth frames, and went down in order in the ninth. The Bobcats' Brandon Paez (Miami, Fla.) drove in a run on a fielder's choice grounder off the Golden Falcon bullpen in the eighth for the final margin.

Polgano gave up one earned run on seven hits with four strikeouts in seven innigns of work and Strickland finished 2 for 4 for Felician. Centeno and Oliva had two hits each for St. Thomas.

The teams meet again on Sunday before Felician's contest against NCAA East Region opponent Stonehill College. Both games are on Maineiri Field.