Kazura Pitches Baseball To Split With Griffins

High-five baseball
(Photo by Dave Schofield)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – Junior right-hander Will Kazura (Saddle Brook, N.J./East Stroudsburg North [Pa.]) pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings to lead Felician University to a 3-1 Game 2 victory over visiting Chestnut Hill College and a split of the teams' Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Chestnut Hill prevailed in the day's first game, 7-2.

Junior shortstop L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J/Hammonton) and senior center fielder Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) each went a combined 4 for 6 on the day. Diesel drove in three of Felician's five runs.

Kazura (1-1), a transfer from Camden County College, picked up his first senior college victory. He yielded two hits, both singles, struck out four batters, and walked four while tossing 98 pitches. Freshman Nick Nardulli (Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville) secured the final out of the sixth in the scheduled seven-inning affair, and senior Dan Naif (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) allowed an RBI single to Alec Craig (Hammonton, N.J./St. Joseph) before retiring the Griffins in the seventh for his second save of the season.

Felician (5-15, 3-1 CACC) scored a quick run when Struble tripled with one out in the first inning and came home on Diesel's sacrifice fly. The Golden Falcons appeared destined for a big inning in the third. With one out, Felician produce three consecutive singles, including Diesel's first-pitch run-scoring liner to center field. A hit batsman loaded the bases, but Griffin hurler Matthew Kress (Lansdale, Pa./Lansdale Catholic) (2-2) induced a double-play grounder to avoid further damage.

Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) blasted a one-out triple and scored on a Struble sacrifice fly in the fifth to complete the Felician scoring.

Kress allowed eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks over six frames. Demetrius Isaac (Philadelphia, Pa./William Penn Charter) was 2 for 3 with two stolen bases for the Griffins (5-8, 1-3). Struble was 2 for 2 and Strickland went 2 for 3 and scored twice to pace the Golden falcons.

In Game 1, Chestnut Hill junior right-hander Dino Cattai (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph Preparatory) outdueled Felician graduate righty Rob Naughton (Levittown, N.Y./Chaminade). Cattai (2-0) scattered eight hits over eight innings with four strikeouts and no walks, allowing the Golden Falcons only single runs in the sixth and eighth stanzas.

The Griffins crafted a 3-0 lead after four innings, then pulled away with two more runs in the sixth, aided by a dropped fly ball. Felician finally dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth on Diesel's RBI double, but CHC catcher Eric Gilham (Deptford, N.J./Deptford) chased Naughton with an RBI single in the eighth. Gilham would later advance on a wild pitch and come home on a hit by Erving Nazario (Hamilton, N.J./Hamilton West).

Naughton (1-4) struck out nine batters and walked two in seven-plus innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits. Diesel went 3 for 4 with two doubles, and Struble was 2 for 4 and scored twice. Gilham went 4 for 4 with a triple and 3 RBI for CHC (5-8, 1-3), and Nazario was 3 for 4 and drove in three runs.

Felician has a quick turnaround, traveling to Pomona, N.Y., on Thursday for an 11:30 a.m. make-up doubleheader against Dominican (N.Y.) College.