Late Baseball Comeback Falls Short In Opener

Left-handed baseball pitcher mid-delivery.
Senior lefty Jacob Nappi drew the 2019 Opening Day start. (Dave Schofield)

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Felician University's frantic late-inning comeback attempt from a six-run deficit fell short, as the Golden Falcons went down to a season-opening 8-6 non-conference baseball loss to host Barry University on Friday evening at Feinbloom Field.

Junior transfer Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J.) was 2 for 5 for Felician. The Golden Falcons committed seven errors, leading to four unearned Barry runs, and struck out 17 times.

Felician trailed, 6-0, after six frames, having mustered only two base hits to that point. The Golden Falcons broke through in the seventh, stealing three bases and receiving two-out run-scoring singles from Sean Downey (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Ronnie Sessa (Chester, N.J.).

In the eighth, the visitors brought the tying run to the plate after pulling to within 7-4 on an RBI double by Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and a Buccaneer error. But Barry reliever Hugo Casilla (Miami, Fla.) settled down to record two strikeouts and escape the jam.

The Buccaneers (3-3) tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth. The Golden Falcons reached Casilla for a run in the ninth on an Anthony Condito (Nutley, N.J.) sacrifice fly, but the right-hander again got out of trouble to record his second save.

Barry scored in six of their eight offensive innings.

Barry starter Frank Gonzalez II (Miramar, Fla.) (1-0) worked five scoreless stanzas, giving up two hits and striking out seven batters. His Felician counterpart, senior left-hander Jacob Nappi (Little Silver, N.J.) (0-1) fanned six over four innings.

Barry's Derek Smolenski (Palm Harbor, Fla.) had two doubles.

The teams continue their three-game weekend series on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Miami Shores.