William Paterson Baseball Locks Up NJAC Tournament Bid with Split at No. 6/2 Rowan

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GLASSBORO, N.J. – The William Paterson baseball team (23-13, 9-8 NJAC) bounced back from an opening 21-10 loss at No. 6/2 Rowan (28-8, 11-6 NJAC) April 28 to earn a 7-6, 10-inning victory in the night cap, and with it, a bid to the upcoming New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament.


With one regular-season game remaining April 29, WP is tied for fifth place in the league standings. The top six teams qualify for the double-elimination NJAC Tournament that begins Tuesday, May 1, on the campuses of the top three seeds. Kean will host the remainder of the event Friday-Sunday, May 4-6.


Game One

The Profs jumped out early, racking up 10 runs during their first two at-bats behind 10 hits, an error, four walks, a hit by pitch and three wild pitches.


Rowan tacked on five in the fifth and two in the sixth for a 17-0 advantage.


The Pioneers crossed the plate seven times during the top of the seventh inning. Freshman shortstop Greg Cuevas opened the frame by being hit by a pitch, sophomore catcher Eric Breun had an infield single and freshman center fielder Steven DiGirolamo doubled down the right-field line to get WP on the scoreboard. Freshman left fielder Francis Deane was hit by a pitch, and a Dan Carter groundout plated Breun before sophomore designated hitter Carlos Perez was hit by a pitch. Sophomore second baseman Matt Ferrara singled to right for two runs, and after a flyout and error, Cuevas sent a three-run double to right field.


A single, double and groundout resulted in one Prof run in the seventh, and Rowan added three more during the home half of the eighth with a base hit, walk, triple and sacrifice fly.


WP finished the scoring in the ninth, using a Ferrara double, Christopher Liriano walk, Cuevas base hit, Breun RBI-single and DiGirolamo base hit and error for three runs.


DiGirolamo finished 5-for-6 with three doubles, two RBI and a run scored, while Ferrara was 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Cuevas went 2-for-4 while adding a double, three RBI and two runs.


Senior Adam Miller gave up six runs on five hits and three walks, striking out two during 1.0 inning as the starter (2-1). Junior Jeff Lombardi, Jr. surrendered eight hits, eight runs and three walks with one strikeout over 3.1 innings. Junior Ryan Tomao tossed the final 3.2 innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits and a walk, registering one strikeout.


Junior first baseman Anthony Harold and junior infielder Dillon Mendel were both 3-for-5 with five RBI for Rowan. Junior Andrew DiPiazza pitched 6.0 shutout innings, striking out 10 while scattering three hits and three walks (6-1).


Game Two

A bases-loaded walk forced in the deciding run during the top of the 10th inning for a 7-6 William Paterson win.

DiGirolamo started the game with a bunt single and Carter sacrificed him to second before Cuevas and Ferrara delivered RBI-singles for a 2-0 lead.


Rowan got one run back with a pair of base hits and a sacrifice fly, making it a 2-1 score after one inning.


WP added three in the fifth for a 5-1 edge. Junior first baseman Shane Adams was issued a leadoff walk, moved to second when senior catcher Jorge Solodkin put down a sac bunt, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored via a DiGirolamo groundout. Carter then sent a base hit to left-center field, and after a wild pitch, Cuevas hit an RBI-single to left and Ferrara launched a run-scoring double down the left-field line.


A triple and single made it a 5-2 margin during the home half of the fifth, and the Profs added one run during both the sixth and seventh to get within one, 5-4.


The Pioneers used an error, Evan Smith walk and Anthony Hoagland pinch-hit single up the middle to cross the plate once in the eighth and push it to a 6-4 game, but Rowan answered with two base hits and a sac fly during its next at-bat for a 6-5 margin.


The Profs opened the home half of the ninth with a home run to left-center field, knotting the score at 6-6.


WP started the top of the 10th with a Ferrara base hit to the pitcher and a wild pitch. After two strikeouts, Smith was hit by a pitch, and another wild pitch led to an intentional walk issued to Hoagland to load the bases. Five pitches later, Solodkin's walk forced across Ferrara for the go-ahead run.


Ferrara was 3-for-5 and posted a double, two RBI and run scored. Cuevas finished 2-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored, and DiGirolamo went 2-for-6 while contributing a run scored and run driven in.


Sophomore Kyle Weiner pitched the first 5.0 innings, giving up three runs on 11 hits while striking out two. Junior Jack Benson retired both batters he faced, and classmate Doug Olcese gave up one run on two hits in 1.0 inning. Junior Eric Rosenberg covered the final 3.1 innings, surrendering two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four (2-1).


Three different players contributed three hits for Rowan. Freshman reliever Dan Corvo took the loss after giving up one run on one hit and two walks while collecting three strikeouts over 2.0 innings (0-1).


William Paterson will finish the regular season Sunday, April 29, at 1:00 p.m. at No. 9/9 The College of New Jersey.


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