Naughton Shutout Completes No. 20 Baseball's Sweep Of Concordia

Rob Naughton pitched a five-hit shutout in Game 2 at Concordia on Apr. 15, 2017. (Dave Schofield)
Rob Naughton pitched a five-hit shutout in Game 2 at Concordia on Apr. 15, 2017. (Dave Schofield)

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Junior right-hander Rob Naughton (Levittown, N.Y.) pitched a five-hit shutout to lead the Felician University baseball team to a 2-0 Game 2 victory over host Concordia (N.Y.) College and a sweep of the teams' Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Clipper Field. Felician captured the day's opening game, 18-2.

The Golden Falcons (23-9, 14-2 CACC) maintained their hold on first place in the CACC. Felician leads Wilmington (Del.) University by one game (two in the loss column) with six to play. Felician is ranked No. 20 in the latest national NCAA Division II writers' poll.

Saturday's second game was scheduled for seven innings, and both starting pitchers went the distance. Junior righty Peter Byrnes (Smithtown, N.Y.) took the hard-luck loss for Concordia. Byrnes (1-3) yielded a pair of unearned runs on seven hits, striking out six batters and walking one.

Felician scored in the first inning when Andrew LaMura (Brick, N.J.) doubled, advanced to third on a single by Brennan Price (Middlesex, N.J.) and came home on a throwing error. The 1-0 score held until the fifth. A Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) single brought home pinch-runner Kyle Parks (Nassau, Bahamas).

Naughton, meanwhile, danced into and out of trouble most of the game, eventually stranding 10 Clipper baserunners. Concordia loaded the bases after two were out in the first, but Naughton (4-0) escaped with a strikeout. In the fourth, the hosts put runners on second and third with one out, but a strikeout and comeback grounder kept them off the scoreboard.

The sixth was Naughton's only perfect frame. In the seventh, Concordia put the tying runs on second and third with two out, but a fly ball to right field ended the game. Naughton struck out eight batters and walked five, throwing 118 pitches. Price and Diesel were each 2 for 4

Felician pounded out 20 base hits in earned the Game 1 victory, with 12 different Golden Falcons picking up a hit. After a LaMura RBI single brought home an unearned run in the first inning, the visitors broke the game open with six in the second, highlighted by Price's two-run double.

Starting as the pitcher and designated hitter, Price (2-0) was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion. Price worked through five frames, giving up two runs on two hits with three strikeouts and five walks. He departed with a 12-0 lead, before the Golden Falcons added five runs in the eighth and one in the ninth.

Junior shortstop Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J.) went 5 for 5 with two doubles and a triple. Diesel, batting leadoff for the first time this season, went 2 for 4 with three runs scored and three RBI. Eric Roubal was 2 for 4 for the Clippers (3-22, 2-10).

Felician junior first baseman Jason Polgano (Bronx, N.Y.) was 2 for 5 with a double and scored twice. He became the 11th player in program history to reach 100 career runs scored.