Felician Sextet Named To All-CACC Baseball Teams

Award winners with plaques lined up in front of CACC media backdrop.

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Six members of the Felician University baseball team were elected to the 2019 all-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference postseason teams, according to balloting released on Tuesday. Senior L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) was a repeat First-Team honoree, while junior Alex Schwartz (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) and sophomores Michael Gutierrez (Garfield, N.J./Garfield) and Nick Nardulli (Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville) were also chosen for the First Team

The CACC's all-conference teams and special award winners were voted upon by its 12 head coaches. Winners were formally honored at the annual CACC Baseball Awards banquet, held Wednesday night at the Wyndham in Southbury, Conn. The complete 2019 All-CACC Baseball Teams and special award winners can be viewed at http://www.caccathletics.org/sports/bsb/2018-19/releases/57AllCACC.  

Felician owns a won-lost record of 30-21 and captured its fourth consecutive CACC regular-season title. With a 24-8 conference record, the Golden Falcons won the CACC South Division by three games.

"The culture has changed here," said 16th-year Felician head coach Chris Langan, who was voted the CACC Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive season by the conference's sports information directors. "Guys are coming in hungrier and more driven than ever before. This has led to a greater degree of team success, which creates more of an opportunity for personal accolades."

Gutierrez, a right-handed pitcher, cracks the First Team after Second Team recognition and league Rookie of the Year honors in 2018. He is 5-4 with a 3.33 ERA, and opponents hit .185 off him. In 54 innings, he gave up 36 hits, and his 85 strikeouts are tied for the CACC lead. He tops the D-II East Region with 14.17 strikeouts per nine innings. Gutierrez set a Felician record with 16 strikeouts in a 1-0 home win over the Jefferson Rams on Apr. 5.

Nardulli emerged as Felician's closer in his second year with the Golden Falcons. The righty, who was honored at relief pitcher, is tied for second nationally in Division II with a school-record 13 saves and his 26 appearances also lead the CACC. He is 2-2 with a 2.80 earned-run average, having allowed 28 hits and struck out 32 batters in 32 1/3 innings.

Schwartz enjoyed a successful first year with the Golden Falcons after transferring from Rowan College at Burlington County. The right-handed pitcher turned in a 8-2 record, including two relief wins, and his ERA of 2.67 sits third in the league. In 81 innings, he allowed 85 hits, struck out 59 batters and walked 14. He is second in the CACC in both strikeout-to-walk ratio and least walks per nine innings.

Struble was a First Team honoree last year at the utility-non-pitcher spot before settling in at shortstop for 2019. The Golden Falcons' leadoff batter set school single season records for stolen bases (42) and walks (37) while batting .366 with a .473 on-base percentage. Struble leads the East Region in steals and run scored (60)

"You can see the respect that the coaches have for 'Guti,'" Langan said. "With his missing some time and a 5-4 record, he still makes the First Team. 'Dulli' has saved games coming into several different situations and the numbers speak for themselves. Schwartz has shown the value of pounding the strike zone with quality pitches, and Struble is simply one of the most exciting players I've ever seen at this level."

The Golden Falcons' All-CACC Second Team representatives were senior second baseman Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) and redshirt sophomore first baseman/outfielder Anthony Condito (Nutley, N.J./Nutley) who was chosen at utility non-pitcher. Healey raised his batting average more than 160 points from a year ago, and his .385 is fourth in the CACC. He has 22 extra-base hits, 51 runs, 42 RBI and 16 steals. In his first year of college baseball, Condito hit .338 with 21 extra-base hits, including three home runs, 29 runs and 42 RBI.

"The improvement in Danny Healey from a year ago has been remarkable," Langan said. "With Condito missing two straight springs and fighting a back injury, it makes me anxious to see if he can be even better in the coming years."

Felician finishes the 2018-19 academic year with 15 all-conference athletes.

The Golden Falcons are ranked seventh in the most recent NCAA Division II Committee regional ranking and must wait until the night of May 12 to learn if they have been selected for an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.