GROVELAND, FLA. – Head coach Mike Lauterhahn picked up his 200th career victory as the William Paterson baseball team (6-5-1) earned an 11-5 win against Rensselaer (5-9) March 17 at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
The Pioneers opened the game with back-to-back singles by senior center fielder Mike Abate (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) and junior shortstop Rob Eggert (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield), and after a double play, senior first baseman Eriq Colón (Hackensack, N.J./Hackensack) had an infield base hit to drive in the game's first run.
Sophomore left fielder Garett Wiedemann (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) drew a one-out walk in the second, and freshman second baseman Matt Ferrara (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) added an RBI-single up the middle for a 2-0 edge.
WP doubled its lead in the third. Junior right fielder Anthony Hoagland (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) and Colón walked, following by a sacrifice from senior catcher Mike Knauf (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan), a run-scoring groundout by freshman third baseman Carlos Perez (Hawthorne, N.J./Hawthorne) and a wild pitch to plate Colón.
Ferrara led off the top of the fourth inning with a base hit up the middle and Abate promptly homered to left, making it a 6-0 game.
An error, steal, groundout and sacrifice fly put the Engineers on the board during the bottom of the fourth.
A Perez base hit, walk by freshman designated hitter Vin Dorio (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst), Wiedemann sacrifice and two straight errors after batted balls by Ferrara and Abate pushed the advantage to 8-1 in the fifth.
A base on balls and two-out double created an RPI run in the sixth, and a single, double, error and sac fly pulled the Engineers within four at 8-4 after seven innings.
The Pioneers pushed across three more runs during the top of the eighth inning. Knauf's leadoff single, a wild pitch, error and Jon Bernotas (Andover, N.J./Newton) sacrifice led to a Ferrara two-run double, and Abate singled in Ferrara for an 11-4 edge.
A two-out error and RBI-single finished the scoring for the Engineers in the ninth.
Ferrara finished 4-for-5 with a double, four RBI and two runs scored. Abate was 3-for-5 while adding a home run, four RBI and two runs scored, and Colón and Perez each had a pair of hits and one RBI.
Sophomore Corey Martinez (River Edge, N.J./River Dell Regional) tossed the first 6.0 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts (3-0). Junior Mario Danza (Monroe, N.J./Monroe Twp.) pitched 2.0 shutout innings, surrendering one hit with one strikeout. Freshman Jack DeFouw (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood) gave up two hits and one unearned run while striking out one during 1.0 inning of relief.
Junior shortstop Ethann Meister was 2-for-3 and scored a run for RPI. Sophomore starter Brendan McNerney took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits and five walks, striking out one in 2.2 innings on the mound (1-2).
Lauterhahn, in his 10th season leading his alma mater, now owns a career mark of 200-160-3.
William Paterson will finish its stay at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational Saturday, March 18, taking on UMass Dartmouth at 9:30 a.m.