All of the precipitation that has fallen in mid-April — rain and snow included — has left many people shaking their heads, wondering when spring will finally arrive.
The weather has caused several of the Profs’ NJAC games to be rescheduled, forcing the team to cram one-third of their conference season into the upcoming weekend.
Following their day off that came after a 10-inning, 7-4 loss to Rutgers-Camden on Monday, the team came alive late at Moravian College to secure an 11-8 win on Wednesday. Six runs in the sixth inning and five runs in the eighth were the difference for the brown and gold.
Rowan will now take on The College of New Jersey today and tomorrow in a home-and-home series. They will then host back-to-back doubleheaders against Montclair State University and New Jersey City University on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Just looking at the schedule is exhausting.
“It’s definitely going to affect our pitching staff this week,” said Head Coach Mike Dickson. “We’re looking at seven games in five days, so some guys will have to come out of the pen back-to-back days and we’re going to need to swing it this week to take some of the pressure off of our arms.”
The bats had been swinging well for the brown and gold leading up to their loss against Rutgers-Camden, which put an end to a seven-game win streak, but the team has relied more on the confidence of their pitching staff than anything else. The seven runs allowed in the loss was the most since the team returned from Florida back in March.
Senior first baseman Steven Todd believes the trip was a turning point for the staff.
“Our whole staff changed their mindset after the Florida trip,” Todd said. “We have a lot of guys that want to win, and you can see it on and off the field in how they work.”
Todd, the only player to start and appear in every game for the Profs this season, also said that Monday’s loss would give the team the extra boost they need to power through this long weekend.
“The atmosphere is a lot different. In conference games we know that any team can win,” Todd said. “We know that from last year, too, and that’s what kicked us out [of the tournament]. So, I think you’re going to see a whole new team coming out of that loss for these next couple games.”
Junior outfielder Kyle Golla added that the team has enough talent to maintain a high level of competition with these crucial upcoming games.
“We’re definitely pumped up,” Golla said. “This weekend is going to show the depth we have on this team.”
The team will need to play their best over these next few days if they want to make a run at the postseason. Fourteen losses were too many for last year’s team to earn a Division III regionals berth, and they already have 10 on their record for 2016.
“As I told the guys yesterday, every game counts now,” Dickson said. “We have to play each game with the same energy because there’s always going to be a handful of those games throughout the year that can go one way or the other. If we got a hit there in the ninth [against Rutgers-Camden], we could’ve gone home happy.”
Dickson’s message has gotten through loud and clear to Todd and the rest of the Profs.
“We feel confident,” Todd said. “If anything, I feel scared for everyone else, because they’re going to face a team that’s going to come at them early and often. That seven-game win streak was huge for us and I think we can get another streak started this week.”
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