February 26, 2011

Maloney, Thompson Dominant on Mound as No. 8/11 Baseball Opens Season With Doubleheader Sweep of Dominican

Romano drives in four runs over two games

Maloney Maloney chalked up a career-high 16 strikeouts while tossing a complete game in the season-opener against Dominican on Saturday afternoon.

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

CHESTER, N.Y. (February 26, 2011) – Senior left-hander Brian Maloney (Brockton, Mass.) struck out a career-high 16 in a complete-game five-hitter in the first game, before sophomore right-hander Ryan Thompson (Calgary, Alberta) whiffed nine over seven shutout innings in the second game on Saturday afternoon, as the No. 8/11 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University baseball team opened its season with a non-conference, neutral-site doubleheader sweep of Dominican at The Rock Sports Park.

With the wins, Franklin Pierce opens defense of its East Region title at 2-0 (0-0 Northeast-10), while Dominican falls to 0-2 (0-0 Central Atlantic). Franklin Pierce took the first game, 8-3, before posting a 9-0 shutout in the second game. The Ravens played as the home team in the first game, while Dominican played as the home team in the second game.

Maloney was the story start-to-finish in the season-opener, as he allowed only three runs on five hits and a walk while piling up the 16 strikeouts on his way to the complete-game win (1-0). The southpaw struck out six in a row at one point, as he fanned the side in order in both the second and third innings. Dominican senior shortstop Marco Moreno was the only Charger not to strike out against Maloney, while senior right fielder Dan Robinson whiffed just once in his four trips to the plate. Every other Dominican batter struck out at least twice in the game.

Franklin Pierce opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, freshman center fielder Calvin Graves (Boston, Mass.) singled to right field and moved around to third on a single through the left side by senior right fielder Mike Munoz (Bronx, N.Y.). Two batters later, senior left fielder Derek Ingui (Sterling, Mass.) pushed a single to right field to drive home the first run of the season.

Dominican answered immediately with a run in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 1-1. Graduate student third baseman Michael Levy, Jr. led off with an infield single and moved to second on a single through the left side by Robinson. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, Levy scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore left fielder Tony Blake.

From there, the game went without another run until the Ravens broke things open with a seven-run bottom of the eighth inning. Junior third baseman Isaac Wenrich (Westlawn, Pa.) gave Franklin Pierce the lead for good with an RBI single, while sophomore designated hitter Eric Romano (North Branford, Conn.) drove in a run while another scored on an error to make it a three-run game. From there, sophomore shortstop Dan Kemp (Sturbridge, Mass.), Graves, Munoz and junior catcher Mike Dowd (East Bridgewater, Mass.) each drove in a run in the inning, as well.

Dominican picked up a pair of runs in the top of the ninth on the first home run of the season for sophomore first baseman Andrew Camardella, but would get no closer as Maloney struck out the next two batters to end the game.

Junior right-hander Justin Moore started on the mound and did not factor in the decision for Dominican. Over seven innings, he allowed one run on five hits, walked one and struck out two. Freshman right-hander Richard Leachy pitched the eighth inning and took the loss (0-1) out of the bullpen for the Chargers. He surrendered seven runs (five earned) on four hits and a walk.

In the second game, Franklin Pierce got the only two runs it would need in the top of the second inning. Ingui led off with an infield single, stole second and scored on an RBI double down the left-field line by Wenrich. Wenrich would steal third and later score on an RBI groundout by Romano.

The Ravens picked up another run in the third when junior second baseman Dan Hennigan (Downingtown, Pa.) led off with a triple and later scored while another baserunner was picked off of first base. Franklin Pierce got a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Kemp and another on an RBI single by Munoz in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-0.

Hennigan walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to make it 6-0 before a three-run eighth to create the 9-0 final. Romano drove in his fourth run of the day with a single to center field before freshman first baseman Zach Mathieu (Derry, N.H.) pulled a two-run single to right field later in the inning to cap the day's scoring.

Thompson spun a gem to pick up the win (1-0) in his first start as a Raven after transferring from the University of Connecticut. Over seven shutout innings, he allowed five hits, did not issue a walk and struck out nine.

Junior right-hander Dave Bartuska started and took the loss (0-1) on the hill in the second game for Dominican. Over 4.2 innings, he was touched up for five runs on six hits, walked three and struck out six.

The Ravens return to the field on Friday, March 4, when they visit Mercy for a non-conference doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at The Rock Sports Park. Also next weekend, Franklin Pierce is scheduled to play doubleheaders both March 5 and 6 at C.W. Post. The Ravens home opener is slated for Tuesday, March 22 against Saint Anselm at 3:30 p.m.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics).

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