LYNDHURST, N.J. – Felician University jumped out to a 7-1 lead after three innings and went on to a 9-6 victory over visiting Bloomfield College in Game 1 of the teams' Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. Bloomfield used solid pitching and two big innings to capture a 15-3 win in Game 2.
The split was enough to allow Felician (28-20, 22-8) to claim at least a share of the CACC South Division title. The Golden Falcons also clinched the overall No. 1 seed in the upcoming CACC Championship tournament. Felician will host a single-elimination play-in game on Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m. at Lyndhurst Rec against the yet-to-be-determined No. 4 seed from the North Division.
Golden Falcon senior second baseman Danny Healey Jr. (Brookhaven, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) was a combined 3 for 8 on the day, scoring three runs and driving in four. Junior shortstop Jason Holguin (Lakewood, N.J./Lakewood) was 5 for 10 with six RBI for Bloomfield (14-34-1, 14-18).
In Game 1, Felician sophomore right-hander Kyle O'Neill (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) (3-1) started on the mound and fought through five innings. He allowed only four hits but issued six walks and a hit batsman. O'Neill was staked to a 2-0 first-inning edge, but Holguin's RBI single in the second cut the Bears' deficit in half.
The Golden Falcons broke the game open with four runs in the second, jump started by Jordan Folgers' (Moriches, N.Y./St. Anthony's) home run to start the frame. After the blast, Felician put two runners on and received a two-run double from Healey and an RBI single from Anthony Condito (Nutley, N.J.). A run-scoring hit in the third by Gino Tortoriello (New Egypt, N.J.) gave the hosts a 7-1 edge.
Bloomfield reached O'Neill for three runs in the fourth but stranded three runners in the inning and two more without scoring in the fifth. A sacrifice fly by Jason Aponte (Loxahatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) completed Felician's scoring, and the Golden Falcon bullpen held the Bears at bay long enough for sophomore Nick Nardulli (Staten Island, N.Y./Tottenville) to pitch the ninth and extend his school record and CACC lead with his 12th save of the season.
Ronnie Sessa (Chester, N.J./Immaculata) was 2 for 2 plus two walks with two stolen bases and scored twice for Felician, while Healey had three RBI. Leadoff man L.T. Struble (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) tied a Golden Falcon record by drawing four walks. Struble's two stolen bases in the game gave him 38 for 2019, breaking the Felician single-season record of 37 set by Dennis Hulse in 2004. Holguin was 3 for 5 with two RBI for Bloomfield.
The Bears pounced for five runs on three hits in the top of the first inning of Game 2. Junior right fielder Darwin Tavarez (Garfield, N.J./Garfield) delivered the big blow, a one-out, three-run triple. Bloomfield starting pitcher Anthony Elefante (Forked River, N.J./Lacey Township) (3-2) worked into and out of trouble for 4 2/3 innings. Healey bounced an RBI single and scored on a throwing error in the second, and he came home again on a ground-ball double play in the fifth.
Bloomfield put the game away with 10 runs in the seventh and final inning, using four hits and six walks off three Golden Falcon hurlers and taking advantage of three errors. The Bears' 15 runs in the contest were scored on only eight hits. The win and league results elsewhere secured a CACC Tournament berth for Bloomfield.
Mike Martinez (Union City, N.J./Bergen Catholic) joined Healey with a pair of hits. Holguin was 2 for 5 with a triple and four RBI for Bloomfield.
Between games, Felician held a Senior Day ceremony and honored its 11 graduating seniors – Aponte, Healey, pitcher Mike Holland (Midland Park, N.J./Midland Park), infielder Omar Jimenez (Perth Amboy, N.J./Perth Amboy), pitcher Will Kazura (Linwood, N.J./East Stroudsburg North [Pa.]), pitcher Jacob Nappi (Little Silver, N.J./Red Bank Regional), pitcher Tony Rivera (Staten Island, N.Y./Bishop Ford), catcher/first baseman Anthony Santoro (Freehold, N.J./St. John Vianney), Sessa, Struble and pitcher Quinn Taylor (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee).
Felician completes its regular season with a make-up doubleheader on Wednesday against the University of the Sciences at a site and time to be determined.