Rowan baseball began the season hot, going undefeated in their first three games. That streak would come to an end after a 10-5 loss to Arcadia in The Nest on Tuesday. Despite the loss, the team still has much to look forward to.
The Profs started the season outscoring opponents 18-6 prior to the matchup. They weren’t blowing out teams necessarily, but their pitching was fantastic. Coming into the game, Rowan’s starting pitchers had an impressive 2.40 ERA.
Tuesday, unfortunately, was the exception. In the loss, starter Andrew Cartier, making his second of the year, was solid. Despite only pitching half a game, coach Mike Dickson cut the cord early, as Cartier was barely making it out of most at-bats. He only went for four innings but allowed just two earned runs. His early release was due to averaging over 20 pitches per-inning.
He took a no-decision, and the Profs’ bullpen completely fell apart, to say the least. The entire staff compiled 181 pitches, a beyond-exorbitant amount. After Cartier left, the four remaining pitchers allowed six earned runs.
Cartier’s replacement, junior Justin Smith, was shaky. He allowed four runs, walked three batters and averaged almost 25 pitches per-hitter in two innings. He struggled with his command, throwing a huge amount of outside or high fastballs that led to balls. Most Profs’ pitchers rarely used breaking balls, and when they did, they relied on mostly sinkers.
The pitching staff wasn’t entirely to be blamed. They were backed into a corner with the amount of errors by infielders in several different innings. Thus, those fielding mistakes led to high-pressure at-bats, including a bases-loaded jam in the 7th.
Within that 7th inning, it wasn’t so much as a “stretch” than a headache. Arcadia capped it off with six runs, three hits, three walks and the use of three different Rowan pitchers.
Despite the team’s loss, center fielder and lead-off hitter junior, Dan Shane had another solid game, going 2/4 with two doubles and two runs batted in (RBI’s). He was one of three Rowan hitters with two or more hits.
After last week’s Rowan-Stevens game, which culminated in a 3-2 win for the Profs, Shane spoke about his plan when at-bat and how he feels about that team this season.
“I don’t mind coach [Mike] Dickson putting me in the leadoff spot, I’ve been there all the time and I’m used to it,” Shane said. “I think he believes in me, he believes in all of us, and we’ve succeeded because of it.”
For the record, he had three hits and one walk that day.
“We have a lot of younger, new guys, so it can be tough, but we’ve got a lot of talent despite that,” Dickson said after the game. “I thought Andrew threw the ball really well, we need to fix some things fundamentally offensively but I was happy with our effort nonetheless. A win is a win.”
Rowan will return to game action this Friday against Salve Regina University. It is a neutral game, the first of the season, at Lakeland, Florida. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Before next Monday’s spring break, barring inclement weather, Rowan will face off against the University of Massachusetts Boston on Sunday. The game will be at Auburndale, FL. First pitch is set for 5:15 p.m.
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