With Rowan baseball taking game one on of their home-and-home series against Rutgers-Camden by a score of 2-1 on Thursday, April 21, a possible series sweep was in order when the two teams played out the final game of the series on Friday, April 22.
Behind the explosion of the bats by Rowan’s lineup that is filled with studs from top-to-bottom and the stellar outing by starting pitcher Jason O’Neill, the series sweep was indeed in order for the Profs on Friday afternoon. The Profs took game two by a score of 10-2.
The offense got off to a hot start, with a Patrick Defeciani RBI double, a Ryan Mostrangeli bomb to deep left, and a Trip McCaffrey RBI single highlighting an electric first inning, which ended in a 4-0 Profs lead.
After a quiet second and third inning, the Profs jumped right back on the hitting train in the fourth, scoring four more runs thanks to RBI singles from Mostrangeli, Chris Curio, and Anthony Schooley.
Following the Scarlet-Raptors scoring one run in both the sixth and seventh innings, Rowan put the cherry on top in the bottom of the seventh. With a bunt single from Marco Mannino and a RBI from Defeciani, they extended the the lead to 10-2.
After the win, Head Coach Mike Dickson spoke about what he thought was different at the plate in comparison to the low-scoring, 2-1 battle on Thursday.
“We were getting some better pitches to hit,” Coach Dickson said. “Their pitcher left a breaking ball up to [Mostrangeli] in the first that he hit out. Just taking advantage of pitches. The guy yesterday was down in the zone, throwing some breaking balls and change-ups in fastball counts, so he had us off balance. Today we got some more fastballs, and we were able to connect.”
Starting pitcher Jason O’Neill had everything working for him out on the mound. O’Neill went 6.2 innings, allowing only four hits and striking out two Scarlet-Raptors. This performance helped improve his record to 6-1 on the season.
“Eli [Atiya] threw a gem yesterday, I had to come out and compete today to get the guys a win,” O’Neill said. “Rutgers-Camden, they’re a good ballclub. They’re scrappy, they’re gonna play us well, but just had to go in there, do my thing, and we came out with a W. That’s what it’s all about.”
Coach Dickson was ecstatic about the pitching performances in the Rutgers-Camden series.
“[Atiya] set the tone yesterday, and [O’Neill] matched him today,” Coach Dickson said. “He was down in the zone, got a lot of ground balls… And when we got that lead, that only helped him, as well.”
With the playoffs looming, Coach Dickson and company are locked in with their eyes set on the prize.
“For us, it’s just day-by-day,” Coach Dickson said. “We gotta play consistent day-by-day. As you get into meaningful games, the calmer you have to be. I’ve coached in World Series’, and I’ve won National Championships at my previous school, so I think that the calmer you are in bigger games, the better you’ll play.”
Rowan baseball looked playoff ready the very next day as they headed to Rutgers-Newark in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 23. They dominated offensively 17-4 in the first matchup and then pulled out 2-1 victory in the second.
They were set to have their final non-conference game on Tuesday, April 26 against Immaculata University, but it was called after 4.1 innings due to weather. The Profs will now to move on to face Stockton University on Thursday, April 28 in a doubleheader at home.
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