Baseball Settles For Saturday Split With Ravens

Baseball outfielder about to start slide catch.
Mike Martinez was 4 for 6, plus two sacrifice flies, in a Mar. 16, 2019, split with Franklin Pierce. (Dave Schofield)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – The Felician University baseball team scored the final eight runs of its 11-3 victory over visiting Franklin Pierce University in Game 1 of the teams' non-conference doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Franklin Pierce bounced back to claim a 2-1 win in Game 2.

The Ravens (7-8) are ranked No. 5 in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region writers' poll. Sophomore left fielder Anthony Condito (Nutley, N.J./Nutley) and junior right fielder Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J./Bergen Catholic) each collected four hits on the day for Felician (5-11).

Felician out-hit the Ravens, 13-6, during the Saturday's opening game. The Golden Falcons broke a 3-3 tie with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) beat out a one-out ground ball for a single, moved up on a groundout, and scored the go-ahead run on Condito's single. Condito stole second base before coming home on a triple by Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner). Following the first pitch to the next hitter, Healey scampered home on an errant throwback to the mound.

Golden Falcon junior pitcher Alex Schwartz (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) made the rally stand up. Schwartz had yielded single runs in the first, fourth and fifth frames -- two of them earned -- but worked through seven innings without a further blemish. He gave up six hits – five singles – while striking out eight batters and walking one. Schwartz (1-1), a transfer from Rowan College at Burlington County, earned his first win as a Golden Falcon.

Felician took advantage of three FPU errors to score twice in the seventh inning, then tacked on three in the eighth off the Raven bullpen. Freshman shortstop Jake Stoller (Merion Station, Pa./Lower Merion) stroked a two-run single to highlight the stanza.

Condito was 4 for 5 with a double, triple and two RBI and Martinez lofted a pair of sacrifice flies for Felician. Healey and Stoller each had two hits and drove in two runs. Franklin Pierce graduate right-hander Ryan Covelle (Medford, Mass./Malden Catholic) (1-1) took the loss, but just two of the eight runs he allowed over seven innings were earned.

Game 2 was a scheduled seven-inning affair. It was ultimately decided by a solo home run off the bat of FPU senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif./Olympian) with one out in the top of the sixth.

Both starting pitchers – Raven senior righty Shane Kittila (Warwick, R.I./Warwick Veterans Memorial) and Felician senior lefty Jacob Nappi (Little Silver, N.J./Red Bank Regional) – were stingy. FPU opened the scoring in the second inning when Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas/Paolo Prep) lined a one-out single and Jethro Hurt (New York, N.Y./Murray Hill Academy) followed with a double. But Nappi limited the damage to a Jake Miller (Waltham, Mass./Lawrence Academy) sacrifice fly.

It took until the fourth for the Golden Falcons to peck at Kittila's line. With two outs, Healey was hit by a pitch and advanced one bag on a Martinez single. Freshman designated hitter Nick Vincelli (Spotswood, N.J./Spotswood) came through with a run-scoring single to knot the score.

Felician chased Kittila but left two on without scoring in the fifth, and Roberto reached Nappi for the longball to right-center field in the next frame. FPU reliever Patrick Hannon (Willington, Conn./E.O. Smith) (1-0) worked around a one-out double by Jordan Folgers (Moriches, N.Y./St. Anthony's) to retire the Golden Falcons in the seventh and earn the victory.

Hannon gave up two hits and a walk in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Nappi (1-3) struck out five Ravens and walked two while allowing two runs on five hits in his 5 2/3 frames. Felician left six men on base and had two others caught stealing.

Martinez went 3 for 3 in defeat for the Golden Falcons and was left on deck when the game ended.

Felician is amid an eight-game homestand. The Golden Falcons host Franklin Pierce again on Sunday in a single game at 1 p.m. in Lyndhurst.