TCNJ blanks OWU in Mideast Regional opener

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It was an early start, but also a fast one for The College of New Jersey at the 2016 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional at Washington & Jefferson's Ross Memorial Park. The No. 4 seed Lions advanced to the winner's bracket with a 10-0 win against No. 5 Ohio Wesleyan.

"It was a good win for us," TCNJ head coach Dean Glus said. "We haven't played in 10 days. We didn't know what we were going to receive. These guys came out and hit the ball very well."

TCNJ's offense started quick, scoring four runs in the first inning off of Ohio Wesleyan starter Ryan Moss. Garen Turner got things started with a two-run double down the third base line to open the scoring.

The Lions also received a pair of two-out RBI hits from Alex Christian and Mike Follet.

TCNJ tacked on two more in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Roberts, who then came around to score from second base on an error by the pitcher.

Ohio Wesleyan had its first threat of the day in the third inning. The Battling Bishops loaded the bases with one out on three singles but TCNJ starter Steven Volpe escaped the jam, striking out back-to-back batters to end the threat.

"That was our chance to get back in the game," Ohio Wesleyan head coach Tyler Mott said. "Credit to Steven (Volpe), their pitcher. He kept us off balance. I have all the faith with my guys. We just need to find our rhythm."

After escaping the jam in the top half, the Lions bats continue to be active, scoring two more runs to make it 8-0. Roberts picked up his second RBI of the game while Turner drove in his third.

The Lions offense continued to strike in the sixth, scoring two runs off of Ohio Wesleyan reliever Will Clyne. Roberts scored his first run of the game on a fielder's choice and CJ Gearhart doubled in his first run of the game for a 10-0 lead.

For the Lions, Volpe (8-1) picked up the win, going eight scoreless innings. Volpe allowed 10 hits, walked one, and tied a career-high with seven strikeouts.

"They are definitely a very good offensive team," Volpe said about Ohio Wesleyan. "My mindset is if they get a couple hits in a row, I have to continue to trust my stuff and my teammates."

Offensively, Turner led the Lions with a 2-for-3 performance, with two runs and three RBI.

"When you capitalize on walks and singles and turn them into doubles and triples, it makes it really easy to score runs," Turner said. "We put the ball in play every time we had runners in scoring position and were able to bring them in."

Moss (8-3) took the loss for the Battling Bishops, going four innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits.

"My fastball was up throughout the whole game," Moss said. "They timed my leg kick and were able to steal on me. I just didn't have a good game today."

TCNJ picked up its first regional victory since 2009.

"They haven't been here," Glus said about his current players. "I have been here before. I try to explain to them what it is about. We should be excited but trust each other. Playing in the New Jersey Athletic Conference helps us. We are playing the best teams in the country in our conference."