NEWARK, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Rutgers-Newark rallied from behind in the seventh inning of both ends of a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader to sweep the New Jersey City University baseball team, 9-8 in game one and 12-10 in game two on April 27 at Weequahic Park.
The Gothic Knights had no trouble collecting hits on the day, producing 12 hits in each game of the doubleheader. But the hits weren't always timely as NJCU (14-20, 3-15 NJAC) left a combined 28 runners on base in the twinbill, including 16 in game two in the final conference games of the season for NJCU. Rutgers-Newark improved to 14-17 overall and 8-9 in the conference and can still clinch the No. 6 seed in the NJAC Tournament based on the outcome of makeup games around the league on April 28.
NJCU exceeded 100 stolen bases in a season for the sixth time in the history of the program and the second year in a row, swiping 104 on the season in 34 games. Senior third baseman Tom Pulcine (Hazlet, NJ/Raritan) was a combined 6-for-8 with four RBIs in the twinbill for NJCU.
GAME 1: Rutgers-Newark 9, New Jersey City 8
NJCU scored six runs in the top of the fifth inning to seize an 8-5 lead but could not protect it. The Scarlet Raiders scored twice in the sixth and seventh innings and its bullpen shutout NJCU over the final four innings to escape with a 9-8 win. Rutgers-Newark hit three home runs in the win.
After R-N scored four times in the first inning it led 4-1 and the Raiders lead was 5-2 after four innings. In the fifth, NJCU scored six times on four hits, aided by three Raider errors. Freshman first baseman Ricky Voss (Eatontown, NJ/Monmouth Regional) had a two-run single, senior second baseman Matt Corsi (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East) followed with an RBI single and freshman left fielder Leo Colon (Carteret, NJ/St. Anthony (Jersey City)) doubled to give NJCU the lead (6-5). A sacrifice fly from Pulcine made it 7-5 before a throwing error forced by a steal by junior right fielder Juan Pena (Perth Amboy, NJ/Perth Amboy) extended the lead to 8-5.
R-N senior shortstop Luke Magliaro (Fairfield, N.J.) closed the deficit to 8-7 with a two-out, two-run homer to center in the sixth. In the seventh, senior Gerardo A. Reyes (Bayamon, Puerto Rico) came up with one on and hit a two-run pinch-hit homer to right to put the Raiders in front, 9-8. NJCU left two runners on in the eighth and another in the ninth needing a single run to even the game.
Magliaro homered twice in the game, his third and fourth of the season, to lead all players with five RBIs, batting 2-for-4 with three runs and a walk. Reyes had two RBIs in his only at bat of the game. Senior third baseman Ryan Zucker (Mountainside, N.J.) was 2-for-4 with two runs out of the leadoff spot.
Senior right-handed pitcher. Luis Rojas (Union, N.J.) earned his first save of the season, allowing only a two-out single in the ninth inning before closing the door. Freshman righty David Vasquez (Garfield, N.J.) was the winner in relief, claiming his first NCAA decision (1-0). In 3.1 innings, he allowed just one hit, fanning four against two hits.
NJCU outhit R-N, 12-9. Pulcine batted 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Voss drove in two and Corsi batted 2-for-5. Senior shortstop Nick LoGatto (Helmetta, NJ/Spotswood) scored twice. NJCU left 12 men on in the loss.
Senior righty Sean Gibney (Rutherford, NJ/Saint Mary-Rutherford) (1-2) suffered the loss in relief of sophomore Gavin Niland (Paramus, NJ/Paramus Catholic) who started and went the first 6.0 innings, striking out eight.
GAME 2: Rutgers-Newark 12, New Jersey City 10
The Gothic Knights led 9-4 before Rutgers-Newark flipped the script in the bottom of the seventh, scoring seven run to change the outcome. R-N had a 17-12 margin in hits in the game and NJCU stranded 16 men on base—the most since leaving 16 on against Montclair State on April 27, 2013.
The Knights stranded multiple runners in the second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings and the bases loaded in the third and fourth. The only inning NJCU did not strand a runner was the ninth.
In defeat, Pulcine was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, two walks and one run scored while LoGatto hit his first homer of the season, batting 1-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs and two walks and his 20th steal of the season. Junior Bill Feehan (Point Pleasant, NJ/Point Pleasant Boro) has had most of his junior season cut short with nagging injuries but returned to the lineup in a designated hitter role and was 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
Colon finished with three runs (2-for-4) and both Colon and freshman catcher Anthony Palmisano (Colonia, NJ/Colonia) walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Pena drove in two runs and stole his 33rd base of the season. Senior center fielder Jesse Kraft (Nutley, NJ/Saint Mary-Rutherford) walked twice and was 2-for-4.
For R-N, junior left fielder Kevin Tamsula (Piscataway, N.J.) drove in four runs, doubling twice in a 2-for-5 effort (two runs). Zucker was 3-for-6 with two runs while Magliaro finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two walks. Junior center fielder John Klimowich (Fair Lawn, N.J.) drove in two runs (2-for-4, 2 runs). Reyes, the catcher in game two, was 2-for-3 and sophomore right fielder Lisandro Ulerio (Englewood, N.J.) had two hits.
Rojas earned his second save of the day by throwing the final 1.2 innings, striking out three of the five batters he faced to make a winner of freshman righty Marcus James (South Brunswick, N.J.), who claimed his first NCAA win (1-0) despite allowing two runs in 2.1 innings as the third of five pitchers for the Raiders. NJCU freshman closer John Pudder (Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan), pitching for the second time in the doubleheader, suffered his first collegiate loss as the fourth of five NJCU pitchers (1-1).
NJCU scored twice in the first for a 2-0 lead on LoGatto's two-run shot to right center, then put up three more runs in the second for a 5-0 edge. Corsi had an RBI double in the frame, Pulcine drove in a run with a single and Feehan made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly
R-N bounced back to make it a two-run game on a three-run double by Tamsula in the bottom of the third. NJCU added a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Feehan and two more in the sixth, thanks to an RBI single by Pulcine and a sacrifice fly by Pena.
That all changed in the seventh when the Raiders scored seven runs on seven hits. Back-to-back triples by Klimowich and Magliaro cut the deficit to 9-6 before a groundout by Tamsula brought in the seventh run. R-N followed with back-to-back doubles then tied the game and took the lead when two runs came in on a throwing error. Klimowich, stepping to the plate for the second time in the inning, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for an 11-9 lead.
NJCU got a run back in the eighth when Pena stole second and Colon, who singled, scored when the throw was errant. But R-N got a key insurance run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Ulerio, scoring Tamsula who led off with a double. NJCU was retired 1-2-3 in the ninth.
- With 104 steals (127 attempts), NJCU has stolen the fifth most bases in a season in school history. The top five performances:
- 122 in 1995 (122-144)
- 119 in 1986 (119-139)
- 113 in 1987 (113-141)
- 112 in 2015 (112-141)
- 104 in 2019 (104-127)
- Tom Pulcine (Hazlet, NJ/Raritan) has 90 career hits in just 73 games for NJCU.
- Juan Pena (Perth Amboy, NJ/Perth Amboy) has 92 career hits in 72 games for NJCU.
- Pena is third on NJCU's single-season steals list with 33.In second place is Carmine Turso (34-39 in 1995). The single-season record is 40 by Rob Sumner who was 40-for-45 in 2006.
NJCU's rescheduled doubleheader against St. Joseph's College (LI) will be moved from Sunday, April 28 to Tuesday, April 30 in Patchogue, N.Y. The two seven-inning games will begin at 4 p.m.
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