The Rowan baseball team enjoyed their trip to Ashland, Virginia this past weekend, winning two out of three games against Randolph-Macon College.
Profs pitcher Danny Serreino gave up a three-run and a solo home run in the second, putting the team in a 4-0 hole. Luckily, Rowan found their stride in the fifth inning, crossing the plate six times to give them a 6-4 advantage. Both teams would tack on a run in the sixth inning, but the 7-5 comeback was completed. Senior Brad Machinski had five innings of stellar ball on the mound, allowing just one run and picking up his first win of the season.
Rowan ended up splitting the next two games in a doubleheader on Sunday, losing the first 3-5, and then blowing out the Yellow Jackets 10-2 to end the series.
“Randolph-Macon is a very good team and very well-coached,” said head coach Mike Dickson. “I thought we got out a little slow and anxious to start the weekend. It was critical that Danny [Serreino] calmed down past the second, and then Brad did a good job coming out of the bullpen. Game two could’ve gone either way, but we gave up two and went down 5-3. Game three we came out and played well. We pitched, played defense and timely hit. We got them down and continued to put our foot on the gas.”
On March 8, Rowan was back to in Glassboro for their home opener against Neumann University. The Knights, fresh off of a combined no-hitter, came alive in the top of the sixth inning, scoring six runs.
However, the drama was saved for the ninth. Sophomore outfielder Michael Decker robbed a home run from the Knights, and sent the Profs into the bottom frame down 5-7 with a chance to extend the game.
Captain Jason Clapper got hit by a pitch to start things off, followed by a Rowan base hit and a Monny Strickland sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third base, with one out. Freshman Frank Rose was also hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Junior Shawn Leydon would then cash-in two runners in his first at-bat of the day, singling through third base. Then, with the bases loaded, senior Shane Brown would celebrate a walk-off hit, bringing Rowan to a 8-7 victory and a 4-1 overall record.
The brown and gold now look ahead to their spring break trip in Florida where they will play eight games in nine days.
“Anytime you play that many games in that many days, it’s a challenge,” Dickson said. “We are going to have to be able to pitch because you’re playing so much, so if you get to your bullpen early in the week, it can set you back in terms of quality starts. It’s critical that we get some starts to take us into the sixth and seventh innings. I think competition will be good. I’m excited to get down there and enjoy the nice weather and play some good teams, as well as have our team bond and come together.”
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