The Rowan Profs baseball team defeated the New Jersey City University (NJCU) Gothic Knights on Friday afternoon, 15-0.
It was the second game in a row between the two teams and the second game in a row that Rowan won in dominant fashion, after winning Thursday’s game 13-3. Rowan improved to a record of 6-2 on the season and a 4-0 conference record. Meanwhile, NJCU fell to a record of 3-12 and a 1-3 conference record.
Success started on the mound for Rowan, with fifth-year senior pitcher Drew Ryback getting the start despite throwing a 113 pitch complete game only six days prior against Kean University. Ryback was 2-0 with three starts coming into the game, with two NJAC Pitcher of the Week awards to show for his performance so far this season.
Ryback cruised through seven innings, striking out six batters, allowing five hits and no runs. With only 89 pitches thrown after seven innings, another complete game looked to be a possibility for Ryback for the second game in a row, until the bottom of the seventh inning, in which Rowan scored six runs, took right around 30 minutes. With a busy month of April underway, Ryback explained that everyone agreed it was best to make sure the co-captain was properly rested for the games ahead.
“You know, I talked to the coaches,” Ryback said. “They were saying ‘short rest Thursday.’ I was already at 89 pitches, might as well take me out, we were up a few runs. Just a good strategy to get rested for Thursday.”
Rowan also had an explosive performance at the plate, which was spearheaded by junior right fielder Ryan Murphy. Murphy went 3-4 with with two RBIs, both of which came in the six-run seventh inning for Rowan.
It was the highest scoring game of the season for Rowan, and it seemed as if everyone was finding success in the batter’s box. This, Murphy explained, is not a surprise judging from the talent that runs deep in the lineup.
“Every single guy in our lineup gets it done. If you need the nine-hitter to get it done, he’s going to get it done. If you need the eight-hitter done, he’s going to get it done. One through nine is going to get it done,” Murphy said.
Murphy also displayed his ability as a talented defensive player with a highlight reel-worthy play in the seventh inning. NJCU center fielder Juan Pena hit a fly ball to shallow right field. Murphy came charging in for it and made a spectacular sliding catch in a field that was rain-soaked following showers in the fifth inning. And it’s hard work and practice that makes those plays possible, according to Murphy.
“Every time we’re out here taking BP [batting practice] or out here in right field, I’m just getting those reps, and every ball that’s hit my way I’m pretty much just going to practice,” Murphy said. “A lot of those reps really correlate into making plays, like the spectacular plays.”
Rowan played a doubleheader against Rutgers-Newark on Saturday in which they won both games. Their next game is at home against Rutgers-Camden this Thursday.
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