Record-Tying Baseball Win Streak Halted At Nine

Nick Nardulli has two wins and five saves in 2019. (Dave Schofield)
Nick Nardulli has two wins and five saves in 2019. (Dave Schofield)

PHILADELPHIA – Senior shortstop L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J.) scored on an eighth-inning wild pitch and sophomore right-hander Nick Nardulli (Staten Island, N.Y.) pitched the final 2 1/3 hitless innings as Felician University edged the host Jefferson Rams, 13-12, in Game 1 of the teams' Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Field. Jefferson rebounded to earn an 8-2 Game 2 win.

Felician (17-15, 11-3 CACC) is ranked No. 10 in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region writers' poll. The Golden Falcons' loss in the nightcap snapped a nine-game winning streak, tying a school record accomplished on two other occasions (Mar. 19-30, 2016, and Apr. 11-20, 2018).

Struble scored three runs in the first game. In just his second year as a Golden Falcon, he became the 14th player in program history to reach 100 career runs (currently 102). He got to the mark in his 85th game.

Felician erased an early 2-0 Game 1 deficit by exploding for 10 runs in the top of the third inning. The Golden Falcons had seven hits in the frame, including a three-run double by Jordan Folgers (Moriches, N.Y.) and were aided by two walks, an error, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. The Rams scored a run in the third, but Felician plated two in the fourth when Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa.) raced around from second base on a Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J.) sacrifice fly, and led 12-3.

Jefferson, however, came all the way back. Aided by a dropped fly ball, the hosts came up with five runs in the fifth. Timothy Lubrano (Cochranville, Pa.) lined a two-run triple and scored on Cole Kriger's (Moorpark, Calif.) hit in the sixth for a 12-11 score. In the next inning, a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Austin Torres (Massapequa, N.Y.) knotted the score. Nardulli, the fourth Felician pitcher of the game, entered and recorded a strikeout to strand the other two runners.

Struble singled on an 0-and-2 pitch to start the eighth and was sacrificed to second base. A walk and a hit batsman loaded the bases, and one out later, a wild pitch gave the visitors the lead for good. Nardulli (2-1) hit a batter in the eighth and issued a walk in the ninth, both with one out, but struck out five of the nine batters he faced.

Lubrano finished 4 for 5 with a double, triple and four RBI, and Torres and Robert Wood (Northfield, N.J.) had three hits each for Jefferson, which owned a 14-11 hits advantage. Folgers and Martinez drove in three runs each for Felician, with Sean Downey (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Carlos Bermudez (Miami, Fla.) joining Struble with two-hit games.

Game 2 was scheduled for seven-innings, and Jefferson sophomore right-hander Patrick Hohlfeld (Schwenksville, Pa.) went the distance on the mound. Holhfeld (2-3) threw 99 pitches in a five-hitter, striking out seven Golden Falcons while walking one.

Felician tied the score at 1-1 in the fifth. Martinez led off with a double, moved up on a wild pitch, and was driven in on a sacrifice fly by junior Jasson Corniel (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic). But the Rams (9-20, 7-7) reached Golden Falcon starter Will Kazura (Linwood, N.J.) (2-2) for the go ahead runs in the home half on Efrain Santiago's (Moca, Puerto Rico) two-run single.

An RBI double by Anthony Condito (Nutley, N.J.) in the sixth pulled Felician to within 3-2. But the Golden Falcons left Condito stranded, and the Rams put the game away with five runs off the Felician bullpen in the bottom of the sixth, jumpstarted by a two-run triple from Arturo Figueroa (Harrisburg, Pa.)

Kazura was charged with three earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

The teams meet again on Friday in Lyndhurst, N.J. to complete their four-game CACC season series.