The Rowan baseball team returned to Glassboro after a spring-break stay in Florida for the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. The Profs won six games during their 10-day, 10-game extravaganza, and came back with their overall record at 10-5.
The trip was highlighted by a two-game sweep of Ripon College and a 17-1 blowout victory against Centenary University.
In the two games against Ripon, the Profs did their damage in one inning.
After falling behind, 5-3, in the top frame of the sixth during the first game, Rowan put up four runs in the bottom frame. A two-run RBI double from sophomore Dillon Mendel and an RBI single by freshman Zach Leach would ultimately give the Profs a 7-5 win.
In the second matchup, Rowan scored five early runs in the third inning thanks to a pair of RBI singles by Kyle Golla and Matt Jolly. Frank Rose would clear a base with a two-run home run, giving him two on the season. Pitchers Eric Shugars and Brad Machinski picked up wins, each improving to 2-0.
In its 17-1 win over Centenary, Rowan racked up 18 hits and had eight walks while only striking out a mere two times.
Rose, Jason Clipper and Joe Sadler each had three hits as the trio combined for nine of the team’s RBIs. The brown and gold were up 11-0 before the Cyclones scored their lone run in the fifth. Sophomore Matt Edwards had a home run in the outing, giving him his first of the season.
The inability to drive in runners in scoring position was the downfall in the Profs’ two hard losses against UMass Boston and St. Norbert College.
In a 7-6 loss to the UMass Beacons, Rowan had multiple chances to put the game away. The team had runners in scoring position in the top of the fourth and the sixth, but couldn’t convert in either opportunity. UMass would win on an RBI single to left in 11 innings.
Against St. Norbert, Rowan would lose, 3-2, as the teams combined for just 13 hits.
Head coach Mike Dickson praised the pitching throughout the trip, but was upset with the lack of run support in losses.
“I thought we pitched well especially considering the fact we had 10 games in that many days,” Dickson said. “There were some quality starts that gave us some good wins, but our hitting let us down a bit. We hit a couple balls hard and were unlucky, but we were over-aggressive too many times.”
The Profs also struggled with health throughout their stay and were inconsistent defensively. Dickson stated that both played a role in Rowan’s up-and-down play.
“We need to learn to take everything one game at a time,” Dickson said. “Health is a huge factor, and we were unfortunately hit with some problems regarding it. I felt like our defense was here and there as well. We can beat anyone and we can lose to anyone. Our defense makes us hard to beat, but it can also have us beat ourselves.”
Since returning from their trip, the team has faced mixed results, picking up a win against SUNY New Paltz on Monday then losing to Salisbury the following day.
The Profs will travel to York College (Pa.) on Sunday to take on the Spartans at 2:00 p.m.
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