Death by Home Run.
If you also add in senior FJ Lucchetti’s strong pitching performance and some timely hitting, you get a Fairleigh Dickinson University victory over the number 12 ranked baseball team in Division III.
The Devils beat the defending Freedom Conference champions, Misericordia University, in all aspects of the game.
The Devils had a small dose of revenge from last year’s championship game, which they lost 9-3, by clobbering the ball all over the field and eventually winning 13-4.
The Devils offense was near impossible to stop, pounding out 17 hits.
The baseball team put runs on the board early for Lucchetti, putting up four runs in the first.
Senior outfielder Matt Joiner had an RBI triple to get things started. Sophomore Frank LaGuarina added another run with a sacrifice fly. Next in line was senior first baseman Ryan Fandel, who hit the first home run of the day, a two run shot.
After the first inning it was smooth sailing for the FDU baseball team.
The Devils almost shot themselves in the foot with a few early errors and a home run by Misericorida that cut the lead in half, 4-2.
The Devils quickly answered back in the following inning with a two-run single by senior third baseman John Pieper.
Lucchetti pitched six strong innings in which he gave up three runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts, before handing the ball over to senior Mike Winters, who was able to pitch two solid innings of relief.
The Devils were able to run away with the game after a five-run inning during the eighth. Joiner started the scoring off for the inning with a three-run home run to deep right field. Senior catcher Nick Marcucci finished off the scoring with a sac fly to drive in a run.
The Devils handed the ball over to their reliable closer, senior Chris Laudati, who worked a masterpiece of a ninth inning to end the game. Laudati struck out two batters and did not surrender a run. This game brought him one step closer to the record for most appearances all time for FDU.
Laudati also has a chance at breaking the saves record this season also.
The home run group of Fandel, Joiner and LaGuarina each had good days at the park. Fandel went 3-5 with a home run and two RBIs. Joiner continued his hot season going 3-5 with a home run and four RBIs. LaGuarina was 3-4 on the day, with a home run and three RBIs. Pieper also had a good day hitting, going 2-4 with two RBIs.
The Devils had a hard fought week, losing to Rutgers-Camden, 9-5, and beating Stockton, 6-5, in a close one, so a comfortable win against a quality team was needed.
The Devils handed Misericordia their first Freedom Conference loss of the season, and FDU improved to 9-3 (5-2 Freedom).
The Devils look to continue their two-game winning streak with a few conference games coming up in the next week.
They will finish up the series with Misericordia and play a non-conference game against Baruch College, which will lead them into their other rival series against Manhattenville.
The Devils will have an opportunity to move up in the standings over the next week with some Freedom conference powerhouses on their schedule.