WORCESTER, Mass. (April 14, 2018) – Junior right-hander Zach Hart (Wallingford, Conn.) nearly took care of business himself in the first game of a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, as he fired eight scoreless innings and struck out nine at Rocheleau Field. The offense added two runs in the first and two more in the fifth, as the Franklin Pierce University baseball team notched a 4-0 win over Assumption. Things were wildly different in the second game, as Ravens pitching surrendered 15 hits and eight runs to one of the NE10's bottom-five offenses. Franklin Pierce rallied in the middle innings to take a 7-6 lead, but single runs in the seventh and eighth lifted Assumption to an 8-7 win and the doubleheader split.
With the split, Franklin Pierce moves to 20-10-1 (10-4 NE10, 5-3 NE Div.), while Assumption now stands at 15-17-1 (9-6-1 NE10, 6-2 NE Div.). The two teams were scheduled to meet on Sunday to wrap up the three-game series, but the game has been postponed due to expected inclement weather. No makeup date has been announced at this time.
Hart (5-1) was the story of the first game. He allowed just four hits over eight scoreless innings of work, did not issue a walk, hit one batter and rang up nine strikeouts. Only three Assumption players reached scoring position against Hart on the afternoon.
The Ravens got Hart the only runs he would need with a pair in the top of the first. Junior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) reached with a one-out, infield single and moved to second when graduate student first baseman Mike Coggeshall (Shrewsbury, Mass.) followed with a walk. Senior catcher Stephen Octave (New Windsor, N.Y.) plated Roberto with an RBI single to center field, which also moved Coggeshall around to third. The latter would score from there on a sacrifice fly to center by senior right fielder Adam Chase (Bridgewater, Mass.).
Franklin Pierce tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth, which would ultimately create the 4-0 final. Sophomore shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) led off with a single to left and moved to second on an errant pickoff throw before Roberto walked. Coggeshall pulled an RBI single through the right side to score Boria, while Roberto went first-to-third on the hit and then scored when Octave bounced into a double play.
Senior right-hander Kyle Chudoba (0-7) started the first game for Assumption and took the loss after six innings of work. He allowed four runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out five.
In the second game, the Assumption offense -- which ranks in the bottom five in the NE10 in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage -- woke up. The Greyhounds battered five Franklin Pierce pitchers for eight runs on 15 hits in what ultimately turned into a back-and-forth affair.
Assumption opened the scoring with single runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. In the first, sophomore second baseman Jared Brescia singled, stole second and scored on an RBI double to right-center by sophomore catcher Derek Adamson. In the second, junior shortstop Hunter Tralli singled, advanced to second on an error, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by junior right fielder Kevin Quinlivan.
The Greyhounds pushed the lead out as high as 6-0 with a four-spot in the bottom of the third. Quinlivan had the big blow of the inning with a two-run single to right, which scored both Adamson and junior left fielder Trevor McQuade. Brescia and Tralli each had RBI singles in the inning as well.
Franklin Pierce rallied with two runs in the fifth and then a five-spot in the top of the sixth to jump to a 7-6 lead through six innings. In the fifth, sophomore third baseman Joe Napolitano (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) led off with an infield single and later scored when Octave bounced into a fielder's choice. Chase provided the other RBI, on an infield single which plated Roberto, who had singled three batters prior.
In the sixth, the Ravens were able to capitalize on a trio of wild pitches by a pair of Assumption pitchers, including two such pitches which plated runs. Napolitano had an RBI double in the inning, while Roberto drove in a run with a single and later was credited with a steal of home as part of a successful first-and-third, double-steal play.
Assumption then answered with a rally of its own, as the Greyhounds plated single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pick up the 8-7 victory. In the seventh, Adamson singled back through the middle leading off, moved to second when senior first baseman Jake Byrne was hit by a pitch, and scored when Quinlivan followed with an RBI single to left field. In the eighth, senior center fielder Quinn Moynihan took a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out single to center by Adamson.
Junior right-hander Anthony Matarazzo (Medford, Mass.) started the second game on the mound for Franklin Pierce, but departed after two-plus ineffective innings. He was ambushed for five runs (four earned) on seven hits and struck out two. The offense ultimately bailed Matarazzo out, and senior left-hander Adam Goss (Waterford, Conn.) would take the loss out of the bullpen. Goss (0-1) would face just one batter, but it was Moynihan, who he walked leading off the eighth. Moynihan would eventually come around to score the game-winning run. It was the only walk issued by Franklin Pierce pitching in the doubleheader.
Senior right-hander Tom Horstkotte took the ball for Assumption and did not factor in the decision either, after five-plus ineffective innings of his own. He surrendered seven runs on eight hits, walked three, hit a batter, threw three wild pitches and struck out five. The late runs made a winner out of sophomore right-hander Manny PegueroMelo (3-0). He threw scoreless ball over the final two innings, allowed two hits, walked two, threw a wild pitch and struck out two.
The Ravens return to the field on Tuesday, April 17, when they travel to Saint Anselm for an NE10 Northeast Division contest. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Sullivan Park in Manchester, N.H.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce baseball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).