Rowan Baseball Goes Scoreless in Their First Game of the NCAA Division III World Series Against Wheaton

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Rowan center fielder Trip McCaffrey swinging at a pitch from Wheaton pitcher Griffin Young during the NCAA Division lll World Series. Wheaton defeated Rowan 6-0 in the first round matchup. Friday, June 4, 2021. - Photo Credit / Joe Adams

The Rowan University baseball team fell short 0-6 against Wheaton College [MA] in their first game of the NCAA Division III World Series. The Profs were shut out for the first time this season, as pitcher for the Wheaton Lyons Griffin Young pitched a complete game shutout. 

The Lyons opened up the game with a double by center fielder Brody Ashley, and he was driven in on a homerun by right fielder Jacob Studley. Wheaton then added one more run to cap off the top of the first inning, and the Profs faced an early 0-3 deficit before they stepped up to the plate for the first time. Left fielder Patrick Santorella doubled with one out in the fourth and eventually came around to score on an error by the Profs first baseman Eric DiDomenico, and the Profs were now down 0-4. 

The Profs were unable to get the bats going until the fifth inning, when DiDomenico singled with one out. The Profs were unable to produce in this inning, as catcher Jared Marks came up to the plate and grounded into a double play.

The Profs grounded into two double plays, and struck out nine times against the Lyons. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Profs leadoff batter and DH Ryan McIsaac singled with one out but once again the Profs stranded another baserunner. 

Starting pitcher for the Profs was typical ace Drew Ryback, but he struggled on the mound as he gave up seven hits, four runs, three of which were earned, he walked four batters and struck out two in his 6.1 innings pitched.

As a senior captain who used his extra year of egilibility to compete this season, Ryback offers some advice for his teammates as the Profs will get another chance to play tomorrow. 

“At the end of the day I think we’re the toughest group of guys around, there’s a reason why we’re here,.” Ryback said. “I think we’re going to bounce back just like we have all year, after every loss we come back and sweep so I’m really not worried about it.” 

In the bottom of the seventh inning, senior left fielder Ryan Mostrangeli singled with two outs, and he was able to reach second base on a wild pitch from Young. Mostrangeli reaching second base was the first time all night the Profs were able to have a runner in scoring position. 

Mostrangeli talks about his approach during his at-bat. 

“I went into that at-bat, I believe we only had two hits at that point,” Mostrangeli said. “I just went in there trying to get something going and get the ball rolling.” 

In the top of the eighth inning the Lyons added another run when third baseman Nick Croteau singled and then advanced to second on a sac bunt. The Lyons leadoff batter Ashley singled, and then Croteau advanced to third. Croteau then scored on a sac fly by second baseman George Mulcahey. 

The Wheaton Lyons now led 5-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Wheaton’s small ball tactics certainly helped them pull out the victory as they laid down three sacrifice bunts, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly all in last night’s matchup. 

The Lyons added one more run in the top of the ninth after relief pitcher Jean Sapini hit the first two batters he faced. A single and an error by right fielder Ryan Murphy allowed catcher Zach Demattio to score. The Lyons now led 6-0 as the Profs used four pitchers during the loss. 

Head coach for the Profs Mike Dickson discusses the impact of using three relievers last night. 

“We use our bullpen pretty consistently in the same way throughout the year, and those guys really only threw an inning a piece,” Dickson said. “So hopefully they’ll be able to bounce back tomorrow.” 

The Profs added two more hits in the bottom of the ninth, bringing their total to five on the game. In fact, it was the first time all game that Rowan had two baserunners on at the same time. Although Rowan was able to get a runner in scoring position, they were unable to get a run across the board and ended up leaving those runners stranded to end the game. 

With the Profs losing their opening game 0-6 against the Wheaton Lyons, they will now play tomorrow against the loser of Salisbury and SUNY Cortland in the elimination bracket. The Profs must win tomorrow if they want to continue in the tournament and have a shot at the National Championship.

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