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.