Leach Dominant, No. 17/17 Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Dowling
Hennigan 2-for-3 and scores twice in victory
Leach's eight shutout innings made sure the Ravens picked up a split in Sunday's doubleheader at Dowling.
BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (March 4, 2012) – Sophomore right-hander Ryan Leach (Farmingdale, Maine) tossed eight shutout innings and struck out six on the way to his second win of the year on Sunday afternoon to salvage a doubleheader split as the No. 17/17 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University baseball team posted a 6-0 victory over Dowling in non-conference play at Golden Lions Field. In the first game of the twinbill, Dowling junior Adam Brown threw five scoreless innings of four-hit ball out of the bullpen to pick up the win in a 3-2, 10-inning affair.
With the split, Franklin Pierce is now 5-2 (0-0 Northeast-10), while Dowling is 3-4 (0-0 East Coast).
Neither team provided exceptional defense in the first contest, as the two sides committed three errors apiece. Dowling was the first to capitalize, as the Golden Lions opened the scoring with an unearned run in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, freshman center fielder Johnathon Cruz drove a triple into the gap in right-center field and scored when the next batter, freshman shortstop Kyle DeMeo, reached on an error by Franklin Pierce junior third baseman Anthony Peguero (Hyde Park, Mass.).
Franklin Pierce responded immediately with two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. Junior right fielder Nick LaCroix (Grafton, Mass.) opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball. Sophomore first baseman Zach Mathieu (Derry, N.H.) followed and legged out an infield single, but wound up on second base thanks to an errant throw by DeMeo at shortstop. LaCroix had to hold up on the ground ball hit in front of him and could only take third on the error. Both runners would score when freshman catcher Matt Walsh (Plymouth, Mass.) proceeded to dump a two-run double into right-center.
Dowling tied the game at 2-2 with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Junior right fielder Joseph Candela led off the frame with a single through the left side of the infield and came all the way around to score two batters later on a triple into the gap in right-center by sophomore left fielder Rob Veltre.
After three scoreless innings sent the game to extra innings, the Golden Lions would score an unearned run to take the 3-2 victory in the bottom of the 10th. With one out, sophomore center fielder Nick Pastore worked a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Sophomore second baseman Andrew Abreu was next and reached on an infield single, though Franklin Pierce senior second baseman Dan Hennigan (Downingtown, Pa.) committed an error on the play which allowed Pastore to come around to score the winning run.
Junior right-hander Joe Flynn (Plymouth, Mass.) started on the mound but did not factor in the decision for Franklin Pierce. Over 2.1 innings, he allowed one unearned run on two hits, walked one and struck out three. Graduate student left-hander Jack Crawford (Montgomery, N.Y.) took his second hard-luck loss (0-2) of the year in relief. Over 6.1 innings out of the bullpen, he allowed two runs (one earned) on just three hits, walked two and struck out five.
Sophomore Tyler Badamo started for Dowling and did not receive a decision either. Over five innings on the hill, he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, walked four and struck out three. Brown picked up the win (1-1) with five shutout innings out of the bullpen, as he allowed four hits and struck out four.
The Franklin Pierce offense found its stride in the second game, as it capitalized on Dowling miscues for two unearned runs in the top of the third inning and never looked back. With one out, sophomore left fielder Calvin Graves (Boston, Mass.) was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on a single back up the middle by Hennigan. Graves would score when junior shortstop Dan Kemp (Sturbridge, Mass.) reached on an error by Dowling freshman third baseman Tyler Hardison. After a successful double steal put runners at second and third, graduate student center fielder James Roche (Arlington, Mass.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to drive home Hennigan.
The Ravens added two more runs in the top of the fourth to double the lead to 4-0. Mathieu deposited a lead-off double into the gap in left-center and scored on an RBI single through the right side by Walsh. Later in the inning, with two outs and nobody on, senior designated hitter Isaac Wenrich (Westlawn, Pa.) reached on an error by freshman shortstop Lucus Fusco, stole second and later scored on an RBI single through the left side by Hennigan.
Franklin Pierce tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth to create the 6-0 final, as Graves singled and later scored on a passed ball, while Hennigan was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an RBI single to center by Roche.
After the offense got him the early lead, Leach made sure it held up for the duration, as he set about mowing down the Golden Lions lineup. Over eight shutout innings, he scattered seven hits, stranded four runners in scoring position, walked one and struck out six to pick up the win (2-0). After allowing a one-out single in the fifth, Leach retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
Sophomore JJ Bessell took the ball for Dowling and lasted just four innings on his way to the loss (0-1). He was touched up for four runs (two earned) on five hits, hit three batters and struck out three.
The Ravens return to the field on Saturday, March 10, when they travel to Philadelphia for a non-conference contest. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Alumni Field in Philadelphia, Pa.
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).