Strikeouts, Early Errors Hurt Baseball In NCAA Loss

Infielders meet on mound.
(Photo by Jim Stankiewicz)

(courtesy Eric Coplin, director of athletics communications, Southern New Hampshire University)

HOOKSETT, N.H. -- Senior James Varela (Levittown, N.Y.) struck out 15 in a complete-game effort and his offense took advantage of early defensive miscues by the opposition, as 25th-ranked and third-seeded Long Island University-LIU Post defeated sixth-seeded Felician University, 7-2, Thursday evening in an NCAA Baseball East II Regional first round matchup at Southern New Hampshire University's Penmen Field.

The Pioneers will now take on host and second seed Southern New Hampshire on Friday (May 17) at noon, while the Golden Falcons meet seventh-seeded Assumption College in an elimination contest at 3:30 on Friday.

LIU Post capitalized on two first-inning errors to score three unearned runs, before doing it again in the third, when a walk and an error set up a two-out RBI single from freshman David Franchi (Center Moriches, N.Y.) and a two-run triple to right-center by senior Jimmy Mendyk(Massapequa, N.Y.) that brought in three more unearned runs to make it 6-0.

Redshirt-junior Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J.) would homer to left-center to lead off the fourth for Felician, but that was one of only two hiccups on the evening for Varela, who also allowed a two-out RBI single to sophomore Sean Downey (Elizabeth, N.J.) in the sixth.

Varela (10-3) gave up just two runs on seven hits, while punching out 15 and walking a pair, in nine innings.

Sophomore Anthony Vaglica (Franklin Square, N.Y.) was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, an RBI and two runs scored for the Pioneers. Mendyk finished 1-for-3 and knocked in a pair, while Franchi was 1-for-4 with the RBI and run scored.

Sophomore Michael Gutierrez (Garfield, N.J.) started for Felician and took the loss to fall to 5-5, as he relinquished six runs – all unearned – on three hits, while striking out four and walking three, over two-and-two-thirds innings. Redshirt-senior Jacob Nappi (Little Silver, N.J.) was strong in relief, firing three-and-a-third shutout frames, fanning six and walking two. Freshman Mat Miller (Bayside, N.Y.) allowed one run on a hit, while striking out two and walking three, in two innings of work.

Junior Jordan Folgers (Moriches, N.Y.) was 2-for-3 with a walk for the Golden Falcons, while redshirt-senior L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J.) went 2-for-4. Martinez (run) and Downey each finished 1-for-4 with an RBI.