KISSIMMEE, Fla. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Sometimes in baseball, everything you can do, I can do better. Simpson College (Iowa) scored in four different innings in the first half of the game but each time the New Jersey City University baseball team had an equal or better response. The Gothic Knights scored in six of eight innings, including a three-run spot in the fifth and NJCU defeated the Storm, 11-6, in game five of its 2019 spring trip at Osceola Heritage Park Field #2 on March 12.
After losing the first three games of the trip, NJCU (2-3) posted 11 hits and four multi-run innings while sending Simpson to its first loss (3-1).
Senior shortstop Nick LoGatto led the Knights going 3-for-4 with two runs, one RBI and two steals, including a swipe of home plate in the third inning that energized the club. Junior right fielder Juan Pena drove in two runs and scored twice in a 2-for-4 effort that also saw him pick off two steals. NJCU stole six bags as a team.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jason Rivera delivered a four-inning save—the first of his career—striking out four (two walks) against a run and two hits. Senior lefty Kyle McCabe picked up his first win as a Knight in relief of junior righty Ian Ambrose; McCabe struck out three of the eight batters he faced, walking one while allowing one unearned run.
Also for NJCU, senior center fielder Jesse Kraft scored twice in a 2-for-4 showing (one RBI) and senior second baseman Tom Pulcine knocked in two RBIs and scored twice. Senior designated hitter Matt Corsi walked four times in the game as NJCU waited out 11 walks from Simpson's four pitchers.
Freshman third baseman Devin Creger (Altoona, Iowa) led Simpson with a 3-for-5 effort including two triples and both freshman center fielder Tyrese Moore (Waukee, Iowa) and senior shortstop Nathan Carlin (Huxley, Iowa) each had two hits. Sophomore left fielder Noah Sacco (Omaha, Neb.) and junior designated hitter Truman Schmitt (Hinton, Iowa) each walked twice and Schmitt scored two times.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After Simpson got on the board with two runs in the top of the first, NJCU countered in the bottom of the inning, scoring twice on three hits. Pulcine walked, Kraft doubled and LoGatto had a sac fly before Pena tied the game with an RBI single.
Still even at 2-2 in the third, Simpson went ahead again on an RBI triple by Carlin. In the bottom of the inning, NJCU answered with two runs to claim its first lead, 4-3. Kraft walked, LoGatto doubled and Corsi walked to load the bases with one out. A sac fly by senior third baseman Mike Albunia tied it. With runners on the corners and one out, NJCU perfectly executed a delayed double steal with Corsi forcing a throw and LoGatto taking off from third, sliding in with a left hand to beat the return throw.
Simpson tied it again in the fourth with a run on three hits, aided by an error. NJCU answered in the bottom of the inning with three hits of its own, scoring on an RBI single by Kraft for a 5-4 lead. Simpson got the run back in the top of the fifth after a two-out error extended the inning.
Even at 5-5 in the bottom of the inning, NJCU plated three runs on two hits and capitalized on a pair of Storm errors. LoGatto singled and stole second to lead off the frame and scored the go-ahead run on a single to center by Pena. Freshman catcher Anthony Palmisano plated the seventh run with a ground ball to third and Pulcine was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 8-5.
After three consecutive one-out walks, NJCU added a run in the seventh on a ground ball by freshman first baseman Ricky Voss. NJCU got two more runs in the seventh on an RBI double by Pulcine, who later came around on a wild pitch.
On the fifth and final day of the 2019 spring trip on Wednesday, March 13, NJCU meets Gordon College (0-8) at 9:30 a.m. Gordon is members of The Commonwealth Coast Conference. NJCU will play its final game at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, the primary stadium of Osceola Heritage Park. It is the home for the Florida Fire Frogs—the Class A-Advanced minor-league affiliate of the Atlanta Braves of the Florida State League. Watch live on #GothicVision at www.NJCUGothicKnights.com/GothicVision or live stats https://njcugothicknights.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary.
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