RINDGE, N.H. (May 6, 2010) – Senior right fielder Phil Hendricks (Pittsfield, Maine) drove home the game-winning run with a line-drive single to center field in the bottom of the 10th inning on Thursday afternoon to lift the No. 25/26 nationally ranked and second-seeded Franklin Pierce University baseball team to a 6-5 victory over fifth-seeded Adelphi on the first day of the Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Championship, hosted by Franklin Pierce at Dr. Arthur and Martha Pappas Field.
With the win, Franklin Pierce improves to 34-12-1 and advances to play at 7 p.m. Friday against the winner of Thursday’s final game, between third-seeded New Haven and fourth-seeded Stonehill. Adelphi falls to 29-18 and will play in an elimination game tomorrow against top seed Southern Connecticut State.
Franklin Pierce opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Junior right fielder Mike Munoz (Bronx, N.Y.) led off with a single through the right side and later stole second. Sophomore first baseman Isaac Wenrich (Westlawn, Pa.) then bounced a ball behind first base for an infield single. Munoz came around to score on the play as the ball escaped the grasp of Adelphi senior first baseman Anthony Anzalone.
The Ravens picked up another run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 2-0. Freshman center fielder Nick LaCroix (Grafton, Mass.) led off with an infield single behind the bag at second and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wenrich. After a passed ball moved LaCroix to third, he scored from there on a safety-squeeze, RBI bunt by freshman shortstop Dan Kemp (Sturbridge, Mass.).
Franklin Pierce once again extended the lead, this time to 3-0, on a run in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of LaCroix, who hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season over the left-field fence.
However, Adelphi rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 5-3 lead. After three singles in a row loaded the bases with nobody out, Anzalone pulled the Panthers within one with a two-run single back through the middle. Two batters later, freshman pinch hitter Nick Pomo-Roman tied the game with an RBI double that took a tough hop over the shoulder of Wenrich and down the right-field line. Pomo-Roman would later come home on an RBI single to left by junior outfielder Richard McCarren. Also in the inning, sophomore designated hitter Justin Farnum singled and eventually scored on an error.
Franklin Pierce answered with a two-run rally of its own in the home half of the ninth to tie things up at 5-5. With one out, Hendricks singled to right field before Hendricks and Wenrich worked back-to-back walks to load the bases, with Wenrich being lifted for freshman pinch runner Drew Larson (Bridgewater, Mass.). Both Hendricks and Larson would score on wild pitches in the inning to tie the game and force extra innings.
After Adelphi left a leadoff double at second base in the top half, the Ravens won the game with a run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Junior third baseman Derek Ingui (Sterling, Mass.) started things with a two-out walk and moved to second on a single bounced back up the middle by Munoz. That set the stage for Hendricks, who drove a single into center field to score Ingui and end the game.
Junior left-hander Brian Maloney (Brockton, Mass.) started on the mound and did not factor in the decision for Franklin Pierce. Over 7.2 shutout innings, he allowed five hits, walked three and struck out eight. Senior right-hander Heath Wasylow (Rehoboth, Mass.) got the win (2-3) out of the bullpen for the Ravens. He pitched a scoreless top of the 10th inning, gave up one hit and struck out one.
Junior right-hander Keith Couch threw 6.2 on the hill for Adelphi and also did not factor in the decision. He allowed three runs (one earned) on nine hits, walked three, hit two batters and struck out nine.