UNION, N.J. – It took a couple of extra days, but the TCNJ baseball team completed a perfect run through the NJAC Tournament as it defeated Ramapo, 9-4, on Tuesday afternoon at Kean. With the victory, the Lions are NJAC Champions for the second time in three years and for the 10th time overall.
The Lions entered the tournament as the fourth seed, but TCNJ played like one of the favorites throughout. TCNJ never trailed through the 36 innings it played in four tournament games, and a strong offensive showing on Tuesday kept that streak alive.
Five different Lions had multi-hit games, and the Lions scored five runs in the first three innings to give itself an early position of power. Ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Danny Borup singled home Joe Oczkowski to make it 2-0. David Cardona III followed with the big hit, a two-run double to right that plated Matt Giacose and Borup. Borup, Cardona and Oczkowski all had two hits.
Ramapo scored two runs in the top of the third, but the Lions managed to get one of them back in the home half. Gary Otten singled up the middle to score Tommy McCarthy, who led off the inning with a double to left. That made it 5-2 TCNJ. Otten and McCarthy both had two hits, as well.
Ramapo plopped a perfectly placed double just inside the left-field line to score two more runs in the top of the fourth, cutting its deficit to 5-4.
The score stayed there until the sixth, thanks to the Lions' ability to strand Ramapo runners. Ramapo left 12 runners on base, including three innings with two men left and another with the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the sixth, McCarthy's sac fly to center scored Cardona to make it 6-4. Thomas Persichetti drove home Otten with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Jacob Simon capped the scoring with a two-run single to right. He had a team-best three RBIs.
Joseph Felipe earned the victory in relief, going four innings while allowing just four hits and no runs.
The Lions earned the NJAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and the Selection Show is set for Monday at noon on NCAA.com.