Combined no-hitter highlights TCNJ sweep

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AUBURNDALE, Fla. – TCNJ baseball pitchers Matt Volpe and Nickolas Kleftogiannis combined to pitch a no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader against Hamilton on Tuesday afternoon at the RussMatt Invitational. The Lions won that game, 9-1, before winning the second game, 7-1. Both games were played in seven innings.
Volpe, a freshman making his collegiate pitching debut, pitched five hitless innings. He struck out six and walked just two, and he started with a first-pitch strike on 12 of the 18 batters he faced.
TCNJ gave Volpe the lead in the top of the first. Danny Borup led off the game with a single, and he later scored on a David Cardona III sacrifice fly.
Hamilton actually tied the game in the bottom of the second inning without the benefit of a hit. Volpe walked the first two batters, and they moved to second and third on a double steal. A sacrifice fly followed to tie the score at 1-1.
The Lions took the lead for good in the top of the third. Borup and Persichetti each singled, and Borup later scored an unearned run when Tommy McCarthy reached on an error.
TCNJ broke the game open in the fifth. The Lions started the inning with three straight doubles. Borup, Persichetti and Cardona each doubled to make it 4-1. Jacob Simon singled home Cardona to make it 5-1.
Volpe finished his day in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout.
Kleftogiannis came in for the bottom of the sixth, and he set Hamilton down in order in both of his innings. He threw 30 pitches in his two innings, and 22 of them went for strikes.
The Lions scored four runs in the seventh inning, all after two outs. Aydon Chavis had a two-run double, and Matt Giacose followed that with a two-run single to make it 9-1.
In game two, the Lions again dominated in a 7-1 victory. The Lions used six hits, four walks and four Hamilton errors to ensure a sweep. Tom Kelly went 3.1 innings in his collegiate debut, allowing just a run while fanning four.
Simon led the offensive effort with two hits. He doubled in the bottom of the first to kick off the scoring, bringing Borup home. That was the Lions' lone hit of the inning, as a pair of errors helped two unearned runs score later in the frame. The Lions also scored two runs in each of its last two at-bats in the fifth and sixth innings.
Andrew Rowan earned the win in relief for the Lions, pitching three perfect innings with a couple of strikeouts.
TCNJ returns to action on Thursday when it faces Wisconsin-La Crosse at 2 p.m.