New Hampshire Hardball

Franklin Pierce edges Mercy

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – It was a bounce-back day on Sunday morning for the Franklin Pierce University baseball team, after the squad was no-hit on Saturday evening in South Carolina. The Ravens posted nine runs on eight hits on Sunday, as they wrapped up their five-game, season-opening trip with an 8-7 win over non-conference opponent Mercy at The Ripken Experience. Franklin Pierce got home runs in the game from junior shortstop James Boria (Massapequa, N.Y.) and freshman designated hitter Jethro Hurt (New York, N.Y.).

With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 4-1, while Mercy falls to 1-7.

Box Score

Things started off with a bang on Sunday morning, as the two teams traded five runs apiece over the opening two innings. For Mercy, which played as the visiting team, senior first baseman Anthony Murphy provided an RBI single in the first inning, while senior catcher Joseph Sadallah cracked a three-run triple and junior shortstop John Mooradian added an RBI single in the second. For Franklin Pierce, it was an RBI groundout by senior catcher Ural Forbes (Freeport, Bahamas), a two-run homer by Hurt and another run on an error in the first, followed by a solo home run from Boria in the second.

The game remained tied at 5-5 until the fifth, before Franklin Pierce scored once in the fifth and twice in the sixth to take the lead for good. In the fifth, Hurt walked with one out and eventually circled the bases thanks to a trio of passed balls. In the sixth, senior third baseman Carmine Giordano (New Rochelle, N.Y.) doubled leading off and came around to score as graduate student center fielder Harrison Smoske (Burlington, Mass.) reached on an error. Smoske would eventually come around to score on an error as well.

Mercy picked up two runs in the top of the seventh to create the 8-7 final. Sadallah was hit by a pitch leading off and moved to second as Mooradian followed with a single. Murphy was next and clubbed a double to drive in both runs. After a sacrifice bunt, senior right-hander Shane Kittila (Warwick, R.I.) collected a pair of strikeouts around a two-out walk to strand Mooradian at third with the potential tying run. Mercy would have only one further baserunner the rest of the way, which was stranded at second in the ninth.

Junior right-hander Derek Duffy (Farmington, Conn.) started on the mound for Franklin Pierce and picked up the win after finding his way through five innings. He was charged with five runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out six. Kittila tossed the final four innings to notch his second save of the opening weekend. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out five.

On the other side of the ledger, junior Luis Grullart (0-2) started on the mound and lasted just 4.2 innings for Mercy. He surrendered six runs (one earned) on seven hits, walked three and struck out seven.

The Ravens return to the field on March 1, when they travel to NYIT for a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is set for noon at Lorenzo Field in Old Westbury, N.Y.

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