WAYNE, N.J. – The William Paterson baseball team (13-19-2, 6-10 NJAC) surrendered a pair of eighth-inning runs for the fourth and final lead change of the day, allowing No. 16 The College of New Jersey (25-10, 13-3 NJAC) to escape with a 6-5 win April 28.
WP is tied for seventh place in the conference standings with two games remaining. The top six teams will qualify for the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament that begins Tuesday, May 2.
Junior designated hitter Austin Lindsay struck out to start the top of the second inning, but reached base when the pitch got by WP's catcher. A failed pickoff attempt and sacrifice advanced him to third base, and freshman left fielder Jacob Simon's groundout to the right side of the infield allowed the Lions to take a 1-0 lead.
TCNJ added another score in the third with a double, failed pickoff and attempted first-and-third double steal.
The Pioneers leveled the score during the home half of the fourth inning. Junior center fielder Anthony Hoagland (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) opened the frame with a base hit to right and senior first baseman Eriq Colón (Hackensack, N.J./Hackensack) drilled a double to left. Freshman second baseman Vin Dorio's (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst) ground ball to the first baseman plated Hoagland, and senior left fielder Mike Rowe (Cedar Grove, N.J./Cedar Grove) followed with an RBI-single through the right side.
Sophomore first baseman Tommy McCarthy tripled to center and scampered home thanks to a wild pitch, handing The College of New Jersey a 3-2 edge in the fifth.
WP answered with a two-run bottom of the fifth, stringing together a two-out Lion error, Colón run-scoring double to right center and Dorio RBI-single up the middle.
The Pioneers made it a 5-3 game after six with a Jorge Solodkin (Short Hills, N.J./Millburn) base hit, Carlos Perez (Hawthorne, N.J./Hawthorne) fielder's choice, Mike Abate (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) double into the corner in left and TCNJ error.
Simon tripled to the left-center gap to open the top of the seventh inning and McCarthy immediately followed with a base hit through the left side of the infield to cut WP's advantage to 5-4.
A leadoff error, sacrifice, walk, fielder's choice and base on balls loaded the bags with two outs in the top of the eighth, and McCarthy's double delivered the tying and go-ahead runs.
Colón finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and pair of runs scored. Rowe was 3-for-4 and drove in a run, while Solodkin finished 3-for-4.
Sophomore starter Corey Martinez (River Edge, N.J./River Dell Regional) allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk over 6.0 innings, striking out three. Junior Mario Danza (Monroe, N.J./Monroe Twp.) tossed 1.0 perfect inning, and freshman Zach Polzer (North Haledon, N.J./Passaic County Tech) faced one batter and was charged with an unearned run. Senior Frank Colasante (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) gave up one unearned run, two hits and a pair of walks with one strikeout during 2.0 innings (0-2).
McCarthy went 3-for-4 while collecting a double, triple, three RBI and run scored. Freshman reliever Nick Kleftogiannis received the win in relief with 2.0 shutout innings, scattering three hits (2-0). Junior Matt Curry picked up his seventh save with a perfect ninth frame.
William Paterson will celebrate Senior Day Saturday, April 29, with a home doubleheader against Rowan starting at 11:30 a.m.