Following a split in their doubleheader against Messiah University on Saturday, March 26, Rowan baseball took the field on Wednesday, March 30, against Penn State Harrisburg looking to bounce back. The result was a promising one.
In what was an absolute shootout all day long, the Profs ultimately took the win by a final score of 12-10 in a back and forth battle.
According to Head Coach Mike Dickson, the team had their eyes set straight on bouncing back from their tough loss on Saturday at the tail end of the doubleheader.
“We had two really cold days at practice, and the mindset was that we gotta get back to playing the way we know how,” Coach Dickson said. “We’ve had some times this year where other teams have challenged us in the back end of doubleheaders… For us, it’s on to the next day, on to the next week. At the end of the day we’re 1-0 today.”
After Penn State Harrisburg jumped out to the early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, the Profs responded quickly with six runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. The scoring did not stop there, however, as lead change after lead change ultimately led to both teams scoring double-digit runs in the contest.
It’s no secret that the pitching wasn’t as sharp today as it has been all season. In the four games prior to this one, the Profs let up an average of three runs per game, seven less than the ten that were allowed this afternoon.
After the game, Coach Dickson expressed his unhappiness in the way things went on the mound.
“We had, what I like to call, 11 freebies,” Coach Dickson said. “That’s walks, hit by pitches, and errors. Fortunately enough, our offense picked us up tonight. Generally, you don’t win those games if you give up that many free bases. So we have to get it turned around. Obviously, we have conference play coming up and we have to get better starts… We just have to be better than that.”
Sophomore infielder Anthony Schooley played a big part in the win. Schooley led the team with four RBIs on a sac fly, as well as a three-run blast to deep right, which gave the Profs a lead that they would not look back from. Schooley also lined a double into the left-field corner in the bottom of the eighth, and then ultimately came around to score a much needed insurance run for the Profs.
For Schooley, everything he does on the field he does for everyone else in the dugout.
“The only thing that I could think about when I was rounding the bases was my guys and putting the lead up on the board,” Schooley said. “We’re in a tight ballgame with a good team. We respect them a lot, they’re a regional team. So we just did our best to try and put runs across. Being able to come up in a big moment, it’s stuff that you dream about as a kid. We preach ‘play for each other’ and I’m glad that I could get it done for my guys today, but it’s a team effort 100%. Everyone means something to us here.”
It is clear that today was special for the Profs, as they were able to pull out a great win against a tough opponent. While the Profs have had their fair share of blowouts to start the season, Coach Dickson feels as though it is extremely important for the team to compete in these types of contests as well.
“I call it battle-tested. You have to be battle-tested,” Coach Dickson said. “You gotta have some close wins, obviously you’re gonna have some blowout wins, some come-from-behind wins, which we had today. That’s what gets you ready. They were in regionals last year, so they weren’t going to back down from us… Today showed resilience out of our club.”
The Profs will now get one day off before hitting the field again on Friday, April 1, against Cabrini University.
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