#2 Rowan Eliminated From NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional With 9-6 Loss To Virginia Wesleyan

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YORK, PA – The Rowan University baseball team suffered a 9-6 loss to Virginia Wesleyan University and was eliminated from the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Sunday.


The Profs end the campaign with a 35-11 record. They were the top seed in the regional. Rowan's 35 victories are the fourth-most in school history. The fourth-seeded Marlins (31-15) advance to play fifth-seeded Misericordia University in another elimination game on Sunday at 5 p.m.


Right-hander Andrew Lowe (so. Franklin, VA/Southampton Academy) hurled 7.1 innings for the win (3-0). He allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits and struck out four. Righty Andrew Cartier (jr. Estell Manor, NJ/Buena Reg.) suffered the loss (4-2).


Virginia Wesleyan right fielder Randy Niesz (sr. Hanover, VA/J.R. Tucker) was two-for-four with one double, one home run and three RBIs. Second baseman Corey King (sr. Virginia Beach, VA/Bayside) tallied two hits (five at bats), three RBIs and one run. Designated hitter Jacob Pilarski (so. Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel), third baseman Austin Obenour (so. Chesapeake, VA/Grassfield) and catcher Jordan Sprouse (jr. Yorktown, VA/Grafton) each drove in one run. Obenour hit a homer while shortstop Brandon Kussmaul (sr. Virginia Beach, VA/Landstown) and first baseman Brady Fallon (sr. Ballston, NY/Christian Brothers Academy) had one double apiece. Center fielder Deon Hammond (sr. Tappahannock, VA/Essex) and Kussmaul each scored twice.


Designated hitter Shawn Leydon (sr. Succasunna, NJ/Roxbury) led the Profs with three hits (five at bats), one RBI and one run. Left fielder Monny Strickland (sr. Egg Harbor Twp., NJ/Egg Harbor Twp.) recorded a double and three RBIs. First baseman Anthony Harrold (jr. Woodbury, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) had one RBI and one run. Shortstop Dillon Mendel (jr. Sparta, NJ/Sparta) scored twice while second baseman Alex Kokos (so. Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley) and catcher Steven Hewa (jr. Galloway, NJ/Absegami) crossed the plate one time apiece.


Neisz opened the scoring with a solo shot to right field in the first. The Marlins added two runs in the third. Hammond walked with one out and went to third on Kussmaul's ground-rule double. Hammond then scored on a groundout by King and Kussmaul went to third. Pilarski's single through the left side plated Kussmaul. Rowan recorded a run in the bottom of the frame. Hewa led off with a single and later scored on an error.


Virginia Wesleyan increased its lead to 4-1 in the fourth. Fallon was hit by a pitch to start the inning. He moved to second on a groundout, stole third and came home on Sprouse's base hit. The Marlins broke the game open with five runs in the sixth. Obenour homered to left center, King posted a two-run single and Neisz doubled in two runs.


The Profs pushed across four runs in the eighth. Leydon knocked in Mendel with a single to right center. Harrold walked and Kokos had a base hit to load the bases for Strickland, who cleared them with a three-run double to left center. Rowan's final run came in the ninth. Mendel, Leydon and Harrold notched three straight singles and Mendel scored on Harrold's hit.