WATERBURY, Conn. – Felician University, the No. 1 seed from the South Division, scored nine runs in the first two innings and went on to a 12-0 victory over Dominican (N.Y.) College in the first round of the double-elimination main draw of the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Baseball Championship tournament on Thursday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. The event is being hosted by Post University.
Felician (29-23) advances to Friday's winners' bracket final. It will face Wilmington (Del.) University, a 5-0 victor over the host Eagles in Thursday's other first-round game. Dominican (20-32), the CACC North Division's No. 2 seed, fell to the losers' bracket and was eliminated from the tournament by Post, 8-3, on Thursday evening.
The Golden Falcons, the designated home team, put three runs on the scoreboard before recording an out. After a hit batsman and an error, senior Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) launched a triple to straightaway center field, plating both runners. Sophomore Rahul Prince (Pomona, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional [N.J.]) drove in Diesel with a double, moved up on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Felician scored five more runs in the second frame on only three base hits. L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) and Prince picked up RBI singles and Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) a sacrifice fly in the inning, during which Dominican committed three errors and issued three walks.
The early offense was more than enough for freshman pitcher Michael Gutierrez (Garfield, N.J./Garfield), who combined with two relievers on a four-hit shutout. Gutierrez (4-4) yielded two singles and two walks while striking out nine batters, and did not allow a runner to reach third base.
Prince went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Diesel was on base four times, going 2 for 3 plus two walks. He stole two bases and scored three times. Healey and leadoff man Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) also drove in two runs apiece.