NEW CASTLE, Del. – Felician University senior shortstop L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J.) broke a 10-10 tie with a three-run, fourth-inning home run and the Golden Falcons went on to an 18-12 Game 2 victory and a split of its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball doubleheader with host Wilmington (Del.) University on Friday at Wilson Field. The game, scheduled for seven innings, was discontinued after five frames due to darkness.
Wilmington (23-15, 12-10 CACC) had captured the day's first game by a 15-4 score. The Wildcats are ranked No. 5 and Felician No. 7 in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region writers' poll. The Golden Falcons (22-18, 16-6) maintained their three-game lead over Chestnut Hill College for first place in the CACC South Division. The Wildcats are one game back of Chestnut Hill and four behind Felician with 10 to play.
Senior second baseman Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa.) was 5 for 7 on the day for the Golden Falcons, and junior first baseman Jordan Folgers (Moriches, N.Y.) drove in three runs in each game. Wilmington leadoff man Dakota Graham (Dover, Del.) was on base 10 times and scored six runs during the twinbill.
Game 2 took three hours, 10 minutes, for the teams to work through five stanzas. All 10 half-innings contained scoring. Felician opened the contest with a six-run first, but, capped by a Kendall Small (Dover, Del.) three-run homer, the Wildcats evened the count at 10-10 after three innings.
With one out in the top of the fourth, Anthony Santoro (Freehold, N.J.) lined a double and Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla.) walked. Struble followed by launching a 1-and-2 offering over the right field fence, his third round-tripper of the season, to give Felician the lead for good. The Golden Falcons re-ignited the rally, and sophomore Anthony Condito (Nutley, N.J.) made it a five-run frame with a two-run single.
Wilmington pulled within 15-11 on a wild pitch, but Felician tacked on three more runs without a hit in the fifth. The Wildcats threatened in the bottom of the fifth but scored only once for the final margin before leaving the bases loaded.
Sophomore Kyle O'Neill (West Islip, N.Y.) (2-1) worked the fourth and was credited with the victory. Healey and Condito were each 3 for 3 plus two walks. Healey scored four runs, while Condito drove in five. Struble finished 3 for 5 with four runs scored and three RBI. Seven of Felician's 15 hits went for extra bases.
Small drove in four runs and Luke Johnson (Jarrettsville, Md.) and Max Carney (Wilmington, Del.) collected two hits each for the Wildcats.
Wilmington roughed up six Felician pitchers for 17 hits during Game 1. A second-inning two-run home run by Folgers somewhat mitigated the Wildcats' three-run first, but the hosts' offense was relentless. Wilmington led, 7-2 following three innings and 10-3 after four, and ended up posting runs in their first seven frames.
Ronnie Sessa (Chester, N.J.) homered for Felician, and Folgers added a triple and three RBI to his ledger. Wilmington hit three home runs and stole five bases in the game. Designated hitter Brooks Ryan (Westminster, Md.) was 3 for 5 with a homer and five RBI, and Graham went 3 for 3 plus three walks with a home run and two steals. Graduate right-hander Sean Deely (Wilmington, Del.) (5-2) started and pitched six innings, giving up six hits and five walks while striking out seven batters.
Felician travels in the opposite direction on Saturday, meeting Post University for a 1 p.m. doubleheader in Waterbury, Conn., in a match-up of CACC division leaders.