New Hampshire Hardball

Ravens lack punch

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The third day of the weekend trip to South Carolina did not go quite as well as the first two for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team, which was held without a hit while dropping a non-conference game to NYIT at The Ripken Experience.

It was not the cleanest of no-hitters, as eight walks, three errors, two balks, two wild pitches and a hit batter combined to allow the Ravens to score two runs without the benefit of a hit. Still, it was not nearly enough to keep up with NYIT’s seven-run, 14-hit attack, as the Bears dealt the Ravens their first loss of the season, 7-2.

With the loss, Franklin Pierce fell to 3-1, while NYIT improved to 3-0. The Ravens will get two more cracks at the Bears, when the two teams meet for a doubleheader at NYIT on March 1.

It was junior right-hander Moises Robles and freshman left-hander Dean Fazah who combined to deal the no-no against Franklin Pierce on Saturday. Robles (1-0) went the first 5.1 innings, though he needed 94 pitches (49 strikes) to do so. Despite not surrendering a hit, he was charged with two runs (one earned) on six walks, threw two wild pitches, hit a batter, balked once and struck out four. Fazah followed up with scoreless, hitless ball over the final 3.2 innings to finish things off and notch his first save of the season. He walked two, balked once and struck out four.

Franklin Pierce opened the scoring in the contest, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, senior left fielder Brad Roberto (San Diego, Calif.) worked a walk and then came all the way around to score when junior first baseman Jonel Ozuna (New York, N.Y.) reached at second on an error by the left fielder. Ozuna then moved to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch.

It was all NYIT from there, as the Bears took the lead for good with three in the top of the third. Freshman catcher Matt Malone led off with a single to center and moved to second two batters later on a single to right by sophomore left fielder Joseph Pesce, before the Bears did all their damage with two outs. Junior shortstop Ben McNeill cracked a two-run double to left field, and senior first baseman Jake Lebel followed with an RBI single to left.

The Bears picked up another run in the top of the fourth to double the lead to 4-2. Junior second baseman Andrew Florides clubbed a one-out triple to right-center and scored on an RBI groundout by Malone.

Franklin Pierce had a chance to turn the tide of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Ravens loaded the bases with one out on two walks and an error, but would still come up empty. Junior designated hitter Dylan Jones (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and freshman second baseman Joel Lara (Boston, Mass.) both went down looking, and the threat went by the boards.

NYIT eventually tacked on an insurance run in the eighth and two in the ninth to create the 7-2 final. In the eighth, Pesce provided an RBI triple to right field to score Malone. In the ninth, Lebel walked and later scored on a wild pitch, while freshman third baseman Kieran Dowd produced an RBI single through the left side to cap the scoring.

Senior left-hander Evan Glew (North Andover, Mass.) took the hill for Franklin Pierce on Saturday and suffered the loss (0-1) after throwing 64 pitches (45 strikes) over 3.1 innings. He was charged with four runs on seven hits and struck out four.

The Ravens wrap up their season-opening, five-game trip to Myrtle Beach on Sunday, when they face Mercy in a non-conference contest at The Ripken Experience. First pitch is set for 9 a.m.

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