NJAC openers go to splitsville

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Austin Gonella's solo shot was the source of the only run in Stockton's 1-0 win vs. New Jersey City on Saturday as the New Jersey Athletic Conference got underway.
Stockton athletics photo

Everyone in the New Jersey Athletic Conference teams opened conference play with doubleheaders on Saturday, and eight ended the day with 1-1 marks. That included a 1-0 win for Stockton and a loss for No. 7 Rowan. Meanwhile, the top three teams all posted Saturday sweeps, while fourth-ranked Swarthmore got tripped up for the second time in three games.

Stockton ace Ray Hughes and NJCU junior righty Ian Ambrose were both locked in for seven innings and the only run came in the top of the seventh when Ospreys senior designated hitter Austin Gonella turned on an 0-2 pitch, putting it over the 375 sign in left center for his second homer of the season. It was all the runs Stockton (13-5, 1-1) would need in a 1-0 win. NJCU (9-5, 1-1) put up a six-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning in the second game and went on to win 13-7, with Juan Pena going 4-for-4 with three RBI.

Kean took one of two from No. 7 Rowan in the teams' conference opoeners. The top five batters in the order combined to go 12-for-21 with 10 runs scored and nine RBI in a 12-2 win vs. the Profs. Frank LoGiudice went the first six and one-third innings to improve to 4-1 for the Cougars, while going 2-for-4 with a double. The Profs got their revenge in the pitchers' duel to follow, as Andrew Dipiazza posted 10 strikeouts and held those same five Kean (14-8, 1-1) hitters to three hits in 21 at-bats in a 3-1 win. Alex Kokos went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Profs (11-5, 1-1).

After dropping the opener, 6-3, William Paterson (14-5, 1-1 NJAC) fought back with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly for a 6-5 win and split against Rutgers-Camden (8-10, 1-1 NJAC). Rutgers-Camden won the opener by putting up two in the fourth and four in the sixth, while Ian Scheidemann threw a complete game to improve to 4-0.

Top-ranked Christopher Newport took two from a struggling Mary Washington, as the Captains (20-2) won 19-8 and 13-6. Tyler Jumper took the win with three and one-third innings of relief in the opener, improving to 4-0, while Seth Woodard and Nick DiNapoli, the No. 2 and No. 3 hitters, scored four runs apiece. In the nightcap, it was Nicholas Baham and Trey Hicks who posted three hits apiece while Teddy Herbert improved to 5-1 with seven innings of work, allowing three runs and striking out nine. Mary Wash fell to 6-12, 1-7 in the Capital Athletic Conference.

Looking to start their NACC regular season title defense on a strong note, No. 2 Concordia Chicago got strong pitching, shutting out Edgewood for a 10-0 win in Game 1. Cole Carman followed with eight innings of one run ball as CUC was able to take Game 2, 7-3 to sweep the series. Bryan VanDuser went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI in the opener.

No. 5 Texas Lutheran and No. 3 Trinity (Texas) each swept SCAC doublehaders, as the Bulldogs rolled past University of Dallas 11-0 and 18-1, while Trinity did the same to Centenary (La.) 15-0 and 14-2. For Trinity, the wins snapped a four-game losing streak, as the Tigers lost the last two games of last weekend's three-game series to TLU, then fell to University of Chicago last Monday and lost the Centenary series opener on Friday. Dylan Murrell threw a complete-game shutout for TLU in the opener, allowing just six hits over eight innings to improve to 5-1. Nathan Malinovsky went the distance in the nightcap, allowing one run and six hits in seven innings.

Swarthmore took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth, but Washington College (18-3, 1-1 Centennial) erased that lead authoritatively, as the Shoremen put up a seven-spot in the bottom of the fifth and went on to win 13-9. CJ Gilmer had the big blow in the inning, with a three-run inside-the-park homer. Swat was able to cut the lead to one run with three homers over the next two innings, but Gillmer answered with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh.

Senior right-hander Nick Roth tossed his third complete game in the opener, and junior Cole Grinde knocked in four (two in each game) as ninth-ranked Randolph-Macon swept an ODAC doubleheader from Shenandoah. Roth allowed five hits and three runs with two walks and nine strikeouts in raising his record to 4-0. He retired the first 10 batters before a homer broke up the no-hitter and shutout in the top of the fourth. R-MC improved to 12-4, 9-1 ODAC, while Shenandoah fell to 10-7, 5-5.

Freshman Patrick Blackall went 8-for-9 with eight runs batted in to lead RIT (5-8) to a pair of wins over Utica (3-11) at Hamilton College. RIT took Game 1, 8-2 and earned a 12-4 victory in Game 2. Blackall went 4-for-4 in game one with a home run, double and season-high four runs batted in in the opener and finished 4-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored in the second game. He is hitting .434 with two homers and 15 RBI in 13 games.

Marymount's run continued, as the Saints took a pair from Marywood (4-13, 0-4 Atlantic East) to improve to 11-12. The Saints started the season 2-10. Marymount is 5-1 in the conference, one game back of Cabrini, which took a doubleheader from Immaculata.

Cal Lutheran put up seven in the fourth and seven more in the fifth to roll past Caltech 21-3, but the Beavers bounced back in the second game, knocking off the 10th-ranked Kingsmen 8-1. Max Popken went 4-for-4 with two RBI for Caltech (6-13, 3-6 SCIAC), while Ryan Ruscansky got his first win of the season with six and a third innings.