MAHWAH, NJ – The Rowan University baseball team began New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play by splitting a doubleheader at Ramapo College on Saturday.
The Profs (15-2) had their 11-game win streak snapped with a 6-2 loss in the opener but came back for a 5-3 victory in the nightcap. The Roadrunners are 14-7 overall.
Rowan third baseman Justin Provost (fr. Hackettstown, NJ/Pope John XXIII) went three-for-six with two doubles, one RBI and two runs on the day. First baseman/left fielder Monny Strickland (sr. Egg Harbor Twp., NJ/Egg Harbor Twp.) tallied two doubles, two RBIs and one run. Shortstop/first baseman Dillon Mendel (jr. Sparta, NJ/Sparta) totaled two hits, one double, one RBI and one run. Second baseman Alex Kokos (so. Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) knocked in two runs while center fielder Dan Shane (jr. Perkasie, PA/Pennridge) scored twice.
For Ramapo, first baseman Connor Walsh (sr. Waldwick, NJ/Waldwick) produced three hits (seven at bats), one double and two runs. Left fielder Anthony Kuzmenko (fr. Green Brook, NJ/Rutgers Prep) and catcher Liam Duffy (jr. Cranford, NJ/Cranford) each recorded two hits (five at bats), one RBI and one run. Second baseman Bobby Shannon (sr. Flanders, NJ/Mount Olive) and center fielder Joe Maugeri (sr. Flanders, NJ/Roxbury) registered two RBIs apiece. Maugeri added a double and scored twice.
Right-hander Andrew DiPiazza (jr. Bayville, NJ/Central Reg.) picked up the win (3-0) in the second contest. He went seven innings and gave up one run on just two hits with seven strikeouts. Righty Justin Smith (jr. Atco, NJ/Hammonton) tossed the final two frames for his third save. Left-hander Jerry D'Andrea (sr. Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) took the loss (3-2). He allowed four runs, three earned, and four hits in 7.2 innings. D'Andrea fanned seven batters.
The Profs struck first in the opening frame. Shane led off with a walk, went to second on a groundout then stole third. He came home on a groundout by Kokos. The Roadrunners tied the score in the second. Maugeri began the inning with a walk and went to second on an error. After advancing to third on a strikeout, he scored on catcher Nick Camilleri (jr. Hasbrouck Heights, NJ/St. Peter's Prep) groundout.
It was a pitcher's duel until the seventh when Rowan regained the advantage. Provost led off with a single and later touched home on a passed ball. The Profs added three runs in the eighth. Kokos had a base hit with two outs. Strickland plated Kokos with a double to center. Mendel followed with an infield single and Strickland came home. After stealing second, Mendel completed the trip around the bases on Provost's double to left center.
Ramapo responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. Shannon sent a base knock up the middle and shortstop Austin Unglaub (sr. Sparta, NJ/Sparta) and Walsh came around to score. Smith retired the side in order in the ninth to end the game.
Right-hander Cory Heitler (jr. Fair Lawn, NJ/Fair Lawn) tossed a complete game for the Roadrunners in the opener. He (5-0) conceded two runs on five hits and struck out 12. Righty Danny Serreino (jr. Jackson, NJ/Jackson Liberty) gave up three runs, two earned, and four hits while fanning nine in 6.2 innings. He has a 2-1 record.
Ramapo posted two runs in the first. Maugeri smacked a two-run double down the left field line with two outs. Rowan broke through for a pair of runs in the sixth to tie the contest. Provost and Shane both drew walks. Kokos singled down the line in right to score Provost and Shane was brought home by Strickland's double to right.
The Roadrunners tallied the decisive run in the seventh. Kuzmenko scored on an error. Ramapo added three insurance runs in the eighth. Duffy had a base hit to center to plate Maugeri. Kuzmenko and right fielder Matt Chemis (sr. Sparta, NJ/Sparta) registered back-to-back RBI singles.
The Profs head to Stockton University for a NJAC game on Thursday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m.