Rowan baseball extended their lead for the first place spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) this past week, going undefeated in a set of four games.
This week, it was senior third baseman and leadoff man Ryan McIsaac whose performance shined the brightest. This did not come as a shock to coach Mike Dickson, however, as McIsaac’s performance this season has been consistently great.
“He has just done a great job in the leadoff spot and getting on base for the middle of the lineup. And consistently, you know where you’re going to get day-in-and-day-out of Ryan. He is going to continue to work. He goes about his business very quietly, but he is a heck of a competitor,” Dickson said.
This past week, McIsaac went 12-21 (.571) at the plate, while also accumulating five RBIs and a home run. Last week’s success now put McIsaac at the top of the team in batting average, as he is hitting .439 on the season.
McIsaac’s ability to record hits is exactly why he has continued to bat first for the team all season. Getting off to a quick start in games has been a vital part of the team’s success and helps shift momentum in Rowan’s favor early on, he explained.
“It kind of just sets the tone for the game. At least getting on, sets up for what we usually call it and what [Nick] Schooley always talks to me about, ‘Get on base. I’ll bunt you over and [Alex] Kokos scores you.’ It’s just a momentum setter for the game,” McIsaac said.
McIsaac’s ability to get on base was especially important in Saturday’s 5-4 win over Ramapo College of New Jersey. Rowan fought their way back after being down 3-1 as late as the seventh inning. McIassac would go on to score in the seventh inning to cut the lead down to one run and also score the game winning run in the 12th inning.
The comeback was the second of the week for the team, having also come back from a 5-1 deficit against The College of New Jersey on Friday, and McIsaac says that both games proved to be an important exercise in rallying around each other.
“Being able to just collect ourselves and come together as a group, because after a couple of those innings we got together and were just like, we know how we can play,” McIsaac said. “Being able to stay calm in those pressure situations helped us a lot.”
Dickson was also impressed by the toughness of his team, recognizing the difficulty of coming back from multi-run deficits.
“To come back and win those games shows a lot about your club,” Dickson said. “To win it in the 12th [inning] says a lot about our team and the leadership and resiliency within the club.”
Rowan now holds a 13-1 NJAC record heading into the final week of the regular season, with William Paterson University (11-3), who the team swept earlier in the season, and Montclair State University (10-4), who the team plays this upcoming Saturday, both trailing closely behind.
Dickson explained that with four games left, the message he is sending to the team still remains the same.
“You just gotta take it one game at a time. Once you win that one, move onto the next one,” he said.
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