WEST HAVEN, Conn. (May 14, 2017) – In need of only a doubleheader split on Sunday to claim the Northeast-10 Conference title, the Franklin Pierce University baseball team was unable to come up with a win at Frank Vieira Field, on the campus of the University of New Haven. Instead, after a 7-3 win in the first game to force a winner-take-all game, New Haven used a seven-run fourth to deal the Ravens a 12-1 defeat and claim the NE10 Championship.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 33-15, while New Haven improves to 30-11. New Haven, which claimed the second NE10 title in program history (2013), earned the league's automatic bid to next week's NCAA Championship East Regional with the victories. With the losses, Franklin Pierce, which was very much on the bubble to start the week, will have to hold its proverbial breath and await news of its fate. The NCAA Championship selection show is set to air on ncaa.com at 10 p.m. Sunday. A streak of 12 straight NCAA berths hangs in the balance for the Ravens.
New Haven capitalized on a lack of command by a handful of Franklin Pierce pitchers to plate seven runs on just four hits in the top of the fourth inning to open up a 7-0 lead in the title game. Ravens pitching issued three walks in the inning, two of which forced home runs, and hit two batters as well, one of which chased home a run. Sophomore first baseman Andrew Garcia had the big hit of the inning, with a two-run single to right field. Senior third baseman Jack Zagaja also had an RBI hit in the inning, as he lined a single into center field. Freshman center fielder Matt Chamberlain was the only other Charger to drive in a run with his bat in the frame, as he lifted a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Chargers tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to push the lead out to 9-0. Senior right fielder Nick Perrelli -- who drove in four runs in the first game -- picked up his fifth RBI of the day by shooting a single into right field. Also in the inning, Zagaja drove an RBI double off the fence in left field.
Franklin Pierce picked up a run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 9-1. Octave got things started with a two-out single to left and came all the way around to score when junior first baseman Dalton Davis (Birmingham, Ala.) drove a long RBI double off the fence in the gap in right-center.
New Haven tacked on three runs in the top of the ninth to create the 12-1 final. Walraven drove in a run with an RBI infield single, while a second run scored on the play via an errant throw. Also in the inning, senior left fielder Robert Petrillo drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
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). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce baseball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).