LYNDHURST, N.J. – Six Felician University pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout to lead the Golden Falcons to a 1-0 Game 2 victory and a sweep of their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader with the visiting University of the Sciences on Wednesday at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Felician had won the day's opening game, 8-3.
Felician (30-20, 24-8 CACC), due to results earlier in the week, had already wrapped up the CACC South Division regular-season title and the overall No. 1 seed during the upcoming league championship tournament. The sweep, however, allowed the Golden Falcons to reach 30 wins for the fourth consecutive year and the fifth time in the 20-year history of its program.
Despite setting a school record for victories, USciences (17-29, 13-19) saw its season come to an end. Wednesday's games were makeups from a twinbill twice previously rained out.
Wednesday's second game was scheduled for seven innings. Felician started its everyday shortstop, senior L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) on the mound and allowed him to work two innings, during which he allowed one hit and two walks.
Meanwhile, the Golden Falcons plated the game's only run in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) and Sean Downey (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth) drew consecutive walks. Junior Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J/Bergen Catholic) followed with a deep drive to right field that bounded over the fence on one hop, scoring Healey but forcing Downey to stop at third base. That development proved important when Downey was thrown out at home plate by Devil left fielder Brian Magee (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) on Jordan Folgers' (Moriches, N.Y./St. Anthony) fly ball.
Hard-luck losing pitcher Hiro Mizutani (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) (1-6) did not allow another Golden Falcon to reach third base. He gave up two other hits, with the runners caught stealing and erased on a double-play. In six frames, he struck out four batters and walked two, throwing just 81 pitches.
But Felician's parade of relievers were equally effective. The Golden Falcons received a hitless inning apiece from Frank Campanelli (Brooklyn, N.Y./HSTAT), Mat Miller (Bayside, N.Y./Cardozo), and Alex Schwartz (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional). Schwartz (8-1) was credited with the victory after striking out all three batters in the fifth.
Sophomore Kyle O'Neill (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) worked around a two-out single in the sixth. Classmate Nick Nardulli (Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville) gave up a one-out hit in the seventh but induced a double-play grounder to tie for the national Division-II lead with his 13th save of the season.
Senior righty Will Kazura (Linwood, N.J./East Stroudsburg North [Pa.]) (4-2) pitched five shutout innings and was staked to an 8-0 lead during the hosts' Game 1 win. Felician leadoff man Struble went 3 for 4, scored twice, and tied a school record with four stolen bases.
A two-run double by Healey highlighted a three-run third inning that gave the Golden Falcons a 4-0 edge. Felician then broke the game open with four runs in the fifth. Downey and Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) stroked run-scoring singles, and Folgers drove an RBI triple before scoring on a wild pitch.
Folgers recorded a double and a triple, joining Aponte and Gino Tortoriello (New Egypt, N.J./New Egypt) as Golden Falcons with two hits apiece. Magee was 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI and Nate Steele (Tabernacle, N.J./Bishop Eustance) also picked up three hits for the Devils.
On Saturday, Felician hosts Bloomfield College at 1 p.m. at Lyndhurst Rec in the Play-In Round of the CACC Championship tournament. Bloomfield is the No. 4 seed from the North Division. There will be an admission charge for all fans of $8 for adults and $4 for children, students and senior citizens which is payable by CASH ONLY. Children age 3 and under will be admitted free. Saturday's loser will be eliminated from the tournament.