No-hitter lifts Franklin Pierce to sweep
Leach racks up 12 Ks, fires seventh no-hitter in program history
RINDGE, N.H. -- Ryan Leach threw a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday evening to lead Franklin Pierce to an 11-0 victory against Adelphi in Northeast-10 Conference play. In the first game of the day, Kevin McGowan threw seven innings of five-hit ball and fanned 11 in a 7-1 win for Franklin Pierce.
With the sweep, Franklin Pierce improves to 19-10-1 overall (6-2-1 Northeast-10, 3-1-1 Northeast Division). With the losses, Adelphi falls to 11-13 on the season (3-8 Northeast-10, 2-3 Southwest Division).
The story of the twinbill would be the work of the Ravens' pitching staff. In the first game, McGowan went seven strong innings, allowed just one run on five hits, did not issue a walk, hit a batter and struck out a career-best 11 on the way to the win (2-1). He did not allow a baserunner through the first 3.1 innings, struck out the side in the fifth and struck out two batters in an inning on two other occasions.
As if that wasn't good enough, Leach went a couple notches better to earn the win (5-1) in the second game. He did not allow a hit in tossing the first complete game of his career. Leach recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts, walked two, hit a batter and faced just two over the minimum thanks to a second-inning double play.
It was the seventh no-hitter in Franklin Pierce history, as well as the fifth thrown by the Ravens against Division II competition. It marks the third no-hitter in four years for Franklin Pierce, which last saw a no-no on March 15, 2010, when Jose Macias also struck out 12 in a no-hitter against Saint Michael's. Before that, Mike Adams and Kyle Vazquez combined to no-hit Dowling on the road on Feb. 21, 2009.
It is the first no-hitter by a Raven at Pappas Field, which opened its gates for the first time in 2005. It is also believed to be the first no-hitter thrown by a Franklin Pierce pitcher at home in Rindge, though a 2000 no-hitter by Michael Robertson occurred on a date that could not be verified at press time.
In the first game, the Ravens opened the scoring with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Dan Hennigan led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a base hit through the left side of the infield by James Roche. Zach Mathieu was next and hit a high chopper to third that tipped off the glove of the leaping third baseman for an RBI infield single, as Hennigan came in to score.
Franklin Pierce struck for five unearned runs in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 6-0 and break the game open. Singles by Matt Walsh, R.J. Going and Calvin Graves surrounded a sacrifice bunt to load the bases with one out. That turned the lineup back to the top for Hennigan, who lined a ball back to Dillon McNamara on the mound. McNamara juggled and dropped the ball, but recovered with enough time to throw out Walsh at the plate by a wide margin. However, Adelphi catcher Rich Cambria muffed the throw while attempting to hasten his throw to first base for a potential double play, allowing the run to score.
After a popped up squeeze attempt resulted in the second out, Roche came to the plate and lifted what could have been an inning-ending flyball to right field. Adelphi right fielder Justin Farnum lost the ball in the sun, however, and the ball dropped untouched and skipped away into the right-field corner, winding up as an inside-the-park grand slam for Roche's fifth home run of the season.
The Ravens tacked on another run in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 7-0. Nick LaCroix started things by poking a lead-off double inside the bag at first base and down the right-field line. He moved to third on a groundout to second by Walsh and scored on an RBI single up the middle, through the drawn in infield, by Anthony Peguero.
Adelphi picked up its only run of the game in the top of the seventh to create the 7-1 final. Leading off the inning, Farnum crushed a ball to right-center field for his first home run of the season.
McNamara started and suffered the loss (1-2) on the hill for Adelphi. Over six innings, he surrendered seven runs (two earned) on 11 hits, walked three and struck out three.
In the second game, Franklin Pierce got the only offense Leach would need right out of the gate with three runs in the bottom of the first. Hennigan opened the game with a walk again, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a line-drive single into left-center field by Roche. After Roche was caught stealing, Mathieu hammered a triple into the gap in right-center field, past a diving Nick Zito. Mathieu would score on an RBI single to right-center field by LaCroix, who would steal second and score on a single to left-center field by Walsh.
The Ravens added a run in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 4-0. Hennigan started things again, this time with a single past the pitcher, back up the middle and into center field. He would come all the way around to score from first on Franklin Pierce's second triple in as many innings, this one also into right-center, by Kemp.
Three more runs for Franklin Pierce in the bottom of the fourth extended the lead to 7-0. Going was hit by a pitch and Graves reached on an infield single to start the inning before a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up. That brought Kemp back to the plate, and he turned on a pitch to club a three-run home run to left field, his third of the season.
The Ravens tacked on single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, as well as two runs in the eighth, to create the 11-0 final. In the sixth, Roche led off the inning and hit his second home run of the day, this one out of the park, the other way to right field. In the seventh, Dan Poirier reached on a single and scored on an RBI single to right by Hennigan. In the eighth, Dan Carroll hit an RBI double down the left-field line and Poirier knocked an RBI single back up the middle.
Jimmy Milani started and took the loss (1-5) in the second game for Adelphi. Over 3.2 innings, he was knocked around for seven runs on nine hits, walked three, hit a batter and struck out two.