Records And Firsts Highlight Baseball Win Against Concordia

Right-handed baseball pitcher during delivery.
Senior Tanner DeLucia earned his first college win on May 1, 2018, against Concordia. (Dave Schofield)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – Senior center fielder Matt Diesel (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) broke three Felician University single-season record in two innings and senior pitcher Tanner DeLucia (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin) earned his first collegiate victory as Felician defeated visiting Concordia (N.Y.) College, 25-5, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball action on Tuesday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.

The Golden Falcons (27-23, 25-7 CACC), who had already locked up the outright CACC South Division title due other conference results on Monday, set a program record with 31 hits. Tuesday's contest, a make-up from the rainout of Game 2 of a doubleheader the previous Saturday, concluded regular-season play for Felician. The Golden Falcons will host a single-elimination conference play-in game on May 5 against the North Division's No. 4 seed.

DeLucia (1-0) was making the first start of his career following 50 relief appearances. He was removed, with a 19-0 lead, after tossing three scoreless innings, and was awarded the win via the NCAA "prearrangement" rule. DeLucia allowed two hits and no walks.

Felician jumped on top with five runs on six hits in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run triple from senior designated hitter Mike Martone (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial). The hosts then exploded for 11 runs on 12 hits in the second.

Senior Bruce Strickland (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan), who had doubled to jump-start the first-inning rally, did so again to begin the second. The latter was his 25th two-bagger of 2018, breaking the Felician single-season record held by Mike Rooth since 2006. However, Diesel collected a pair of doubles in the inning to also finish Tuesday at 25 for the season.

Diesel was one of five Golden Falcon starters to exit the game for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the third. In two innings, he was 3 for 3 with two doubles, a triple, three runs scored and four runs batted in. In addition to the doubles mark, he broke Felician season records for hits with 81 (Andrew LaMura, 79, 2016) and RBI with 61 (Frank Quintana, 59, 2007).

During the bottom of the third, four-year veteran pitcher Dan Naif (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Liberty) batted for Strickland. Naif looped a single down the right-field foul line for his first collegiate base hit. Naif would later score on a two-run triple by Ronnie Sessa (Chester, N.J./Immaculata).

Concordia punished the Felician bullpen for four fourth-inning runs. With one out, Tyler Epple (Levittown, N.Y./Division Avenue) lined an RBI single, and Hermes Abreu (Bayshore, N.Y./Bayshore) followed with a two-run triple before scoring on a wild pitch.

A three-run triple for Armando Ovalles (Union City, N.J./Union City) headlined Felician's five-run seventh. Nine of the Golden Falcons' hits went for extra bases.

Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) was 3 for 3 and Jesus Colon (Brooklyn, N.Y./Phelps School [Pa.]) also picked up three hits for Felician. Jake Partridge (Bardonia, N.Y./Clarkstown South) had two of Concordia's eight hits.

Felician's previous high for hits in a game was 27 against Dominican (N.Y.) College in Game 1 of a Mar. 22, 2014 twinbill.

Felician plays at 2 p.m. on Saturday against an opponent to be determined.