Nashua, NH- The Falcons inched closer to the school record Thursday evening, defeating the Rivier University Raiders (7-31), 6-3, giving them 37 wins on the season. The team needs just one more win to break the record set by the 2014 squad who finished their season 37-17. Zack Leblanc (Salem, MA) pitched eight strong innings, earning his 11th win of the year, while John Travieso (Miami, FL) closed out the game for his third save of the season.
Fisher went quietly over the first two innings unable to get much going against the Raiders starter Ryan Schaefer, forcing them to play from behind after two innings. The Raiders tagged Leblanc for five hits over the first two innings and took advantage of a Falcons miscue to score one in the first, and added two more in the second to take an early 3-0 lead. The Falcons bats came alive in the fourth though, as Mitchell Lundholm (Plymouth, MA) and Jonathan Rosado (Bayamon, PR) rapped back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. John Batista (Lawrence, MA) earned his 38th RBI of the season as he flied out to right allowing Lundholm to score on the sacrifice. Cameron Pearson (Orlando, FL) and Joshua Rogers (Highlands Ranch, CO) added singles of their own to plate Rosado to get within one, trailing 3-2 after four innings.
The Falcons tied things up in the top of the 5th, as Ivan Rivera (Brooklyn, NY) singled through the right side. After a wild pitch and a grounder advanced him to third, Rosado earned his second hit of the night scoring Rivera to make it a 3-3 game. After a shaky start from the Falcons starter, Leblanc settled down nicely, allowing just four hits over his next six innings of work keeping the Raiders off the scoreboard with the two teams headed to the 7th tied at 3. FC took its first lead in the 7th when a Lundholm triple forced Schaefer out of the game. Batista welcomed Raiders reliever Cameron Way to the game with an RBI single to left making it 4-3. The Falcons added a pair of insurance runs in the 8th and 9th on hits from Jacob Deziel (Merrimac, MA) and a pair of sac flies from Rivera and Rogers to lead 6-3 heading to the bottom of the 9th. Rivier made things interesting in the bottom of the frame as Jorge Martinez singled with just one out. Travieso followed up with a walk and a hit batsman to load the bases, but he got his team out of the jam forcing a game-ending double play to Deziel to earn their 37th win of the season.
Five Falcons had multiple hits in the victory, with the team collecting 14 hits overall in the win. Batista and Rogers each had a pair of hits and a pair of RBI's to help secure the win. Leblanc pitched eight innings for the win, allowing 10 hits and two earned runs, while adding eight strikeouts to his season total of 80. Schaefer took the loss for the Raiders, pitching six innings of work, giving up three earned runs while striking out four Falcons. Corey Cochran and Fred Kazalski led the way for the Raiders as they each has a pair of hits in the losing effort.
Fisher will look to break the school record for wins tonight as they play host to the College of Saint Joseph's Fighting Saints (11-10). The two teams will square off Friday evening with the 9-inning game starting at 5pm.