LYNDHURST, N.J. – Felician University backed strong pitching by banging out 22 base hits and drawing 13 walks in sweeping its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball doubleheader from visiting Post University on Saturday at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Felician held on to win Game 1, 5-3, before putting together an 11-2 Game 2 triumph.
The Golden Falcons (22-20, 20-6 CACC) have won 11 of their last 12 games, all in CACC play. Both teams entered the day in second place in their respective CACC divisions.
Felician leadoff man Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) went 5 for 8 with a double for the day. He scored five runs and drove in three. Sophomore Rahul Prince (Pomona, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional [N.J.]) was on base six times, going 4 for 6 with four RBI. Post junior Rosario Missiti (Belmont, Mass./St. John's Prep) was 3 for 7.
The Golden Falcons built a 4-0 lead after three innings of the opener. Felician plated two runs without a hit in the bottom of the first. Strickland and L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) began the frame walks and moved up on a groundout. Strickland scored on a wild pitch, and Struble followed on a groundout by Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge).
Felician's two-run rally in the third needed only one hit, Strickland's leadoff single. The hosts loaded the bases on a walk and a hit batsman. One out later, Strickland scored on a passed ball, and Struble scampered home on a short sacrifice fly by Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner).
Graduate right-hander Rob Naughton (Levittown, N.Y./Chaminade) made the Golden Falcons' early offense stand up. Starting on three days' rest, Naughton carried a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning. Felician tacked on a fifth run in the seventh when a Prince single scored Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa).
Naughton (4-4) retired the first two Eagle hitters in the eighth. Connor Kolich (Mahwah, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) singled, but came all the way around to score on an outfield error. Post lined three more hard-hit base hits off of Naughton, and when the Eagles pulled to within 5-3 on a fielding error, the Golden Falcons turned to senior righty Dan Naif (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty).
Naif ran a full count before inducing a pop-up. He retired the Eagles in order in the ninth for his fifth save of the season, extending his career school record to 22.
Healey was 3 for 3 for Felician, which owned a 7-6 advantage in hits. Missiti finished 2 for 4 with an RBI, and had one of three Eagle doubles.
The Golden Falcons scored multiple runs in each of their first four offensive innings in the nightcap, and were ahead, 11-0, after five stanzas. Prince began the outburst with a two-run triple in the first inning, and Strickland stroked a two-run single in the third.
Freshman righty Kyle O'Neill (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) (2-0) worked five scoreless innings to earn the victory, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out six. Post spoiled the shutout with a pair of ninth-inning runs on a Kolich sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Brandon Escalante (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Cypress Bay).
Strickland was 4 for 4 with a double. He scored three runs and drove in three. Sophomore catcher Carlos Bermudez (Miami, Fla./Tampa Bay Christian) went 3 for 4 with a double and scored twice and Prince was 3 for 3 with two runs and three RBI. Struble and Jesus Colon (Brooklyn, N.Y./Phelps School) were each 2 for 2 for Felician.
Post (18-18, 10-10) received two hits each from Danny DiMarzo (Fishkill, N.Y./John Jay) and Brendon Emigholz (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip).
Felician steps out of conference for the last time this season when it travels to Queens (N.Y.) College for a noon doubleheader on Sunday.