PHILADELPHIA – Felician University broke a 7-7 tie with four runs in the top of the ninth inning and went on to an 11-7 victory over the host Jefferson Rams (formerly Philadelphia University) in Game 1 of the teams' Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. Jefferson returned the favor in Game 2, picking up a 4-3 walk-off win.
Felician sophomore left fielder Rahul Prince (Pomona, N.Y.) was 4 for 7 on the day, including his first collegiate home run. Senior Mike Martone (Brick, N.J.) and junior Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa.) collected three hits each for the Golden Falcons (7-17, 5-3). Jefferson junior Timothy Broadhag (Warminster, Pa.) went 3 for 8, including the game-winning hit in the nightcap.
In the day's opening game, Felician snapped a 4-4 deadlock with a three-run sixth, using RBI singles by Healey and Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J.) and a run-scoring double from L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J.). But the Rams (5-16, 2-5) scratched across a run in the seventh, then tied the score in the eighth on Matt McGee's (Forest Hill, Md.) groundout and Austin Torres's (Massapequa, N.Y.) RBI triple.
Dan Naif (Jackson, N.J.) came out of the bullpen to strand Torres at third. With two on and one out in the top of the ninth, Armando Ovalles (Union City, N.Y.), batting for the first time in the game, delivered a go-ahead RBI single for the Golden Falcons. Healey followed with a run-scoring hit, and two batters later, Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla.) capped the rally with a two-run single. Naif worked around two errors and a walk to retire Jefferson in the ninth and earn the victory.
Prince was 3 for 5, including a two-run homer in the fourth, and Healey went 3 for 4 plus a walk with three runs scored. Martone and Struble each had a double among two hits. Torres was 2 for 4 with three RBI for the Rams.
In the nightcap, a scheduled seven-inning contest, Jefferson pitchers Andrew Dark (Haddonfield, N.J.) and Daniel Sabath (Perkasie, Pa.) combined on a five-hitter, with Sabath (1-1) earning the victory with three frames of scoreless, one-hit relief.
The Rams pushed across two runs in the bottom of the second inning when Felician freshman righty Michael Gutierrez (Garfield, N.J.) issued a pair of leadoff walks. Following a sacrifice and a strikeout, both runs came around to score on Brandon Quaranta's (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) single to deep shortstop.
Jefferson added an unearned run in the third, but Felician tied the game in the fourth when Brenden Cuni (New Rochelle, N.Y.) reached Dark for a three-run home run. Gutierrez departed after six innings having thrown 110 pitches, but Sabath kept the Golden Falcons off the scoreboard, and the game entered the bottom of the seventh still even at 3-3.
Felician once again turned to Naif. After a strikeout, the Rams picked up two singles and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Another strikeout put Naif (2-1) on the verge of escaping, but Broadhag singled to left-center field to bring Arturo Figueroa (Harrisburg, Pa.) home with the winning run.
At 2 for 4, Figueroa was the only player on either team with a multi-hit game. Gutierrez set a Felician freshman record with 13 strikeouts, giving up two hits and six walks in a six-inning no-decision.
Felician, tied for second place in the CACC South Division, plays a league doubleheader against first-place Wilmington (Del.) University on Tuesday at noon in New Castle, Del.