KISSIMMEE, Fla. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Sophomore right-hander Gavin Niland (Paramus, NJ/Paramus Catholic) struck out seven and allowed just four hits in 7.2 innings in his first start for the New Jersey City University baseball team and senior shortstop Nick LoGatto (Helmetta, NJ/Spotswood) notched his 100th career hit as part of a three-run opening inning as the Gothic Knights concluded their 2019 spring trip with a 6-3 win over Gordon College on March 13 at Osceola Heritage Park Stadium.
After losing the first three games of the trip, NJCU evened its season record and its Florida mark at 3-3 overall. NJCU scored single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.
Niland struck out seven, walked just one, and allowed one earned run and four hits over 104 pitches to win (1-0). Senior righty Sean Gibney (Rutherford, NJ/Saint Mary-Rutherford) struck out the only batter he faced and freshman righty John Pudder (Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan) allowed just two hits (one unearned run) in the final inning to close it out.
LoGatto became the ninth Gothic Knight during head coach Jerry Smith's eight years as head coach to reach the 100-hit milestone and the 44th in the history of the program.
Senior third baseman Matt Corsi (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East) was 3-for-5 and senior center fielder Jesse Kraft (Nutley, NJ/Saint Mary-Rutherford) batted 2-for-5 with a triple, run and an RBI. Rookie catcher Anthony Palmisano (Colonia, NJ/Colonia) scored twice. While he didn't have a hit, the other eight Gothic Knights in the lineup had at least one hit.
Gordon (0-9) had six hits. Junior designated hitter/right fielder Joseph Mack (East Longmeadow, Mass.) was the lone player with multiple hits (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI). Sophomore righty Joe Pedulla (Monroe Township, N.J.) started and went the first 7.0 innings in a loss (0-2). He struck out three, walked two, and allowed five runs (three earned) and eight hits.
HOW IT HAPPENED
NJCU scored three times on four hits in the top of the first on four straight hits at the top of the order. Senior third baseman Tom Pulcine singled, scored on a triple by Kraft. LoGatto singled through the right side with his 100th hit to drive in Kraft for a 2-0 lead. LoGatto stole second and later scored on an RBI single by junior right fielder Juan Pena (Perth Amboy, NJ/Perth Amboy).
Gordon got a run back in the second inning. Junior first baseman Matt Paulsen (Latham, N.Y.) led off and came in on a squeeze play. NJCU got the run back in the win when Palmisano was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a sacrifice fly by Pulcine.
After a two-base throwing error allowed the Scots to cut the deficit to 4-2 in the fifth, Palmisano, who walked and advanced on a single and error, scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 edge. The Knights had three hits in the third—Corsi, senior designated hitter Mike Albunia (Jersey City, NJ/Hudson Catholic) and freshman first baseman Ricky Voss (Eatontown, NJ/Monmouth Regional), the New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, whose RBI single to left made it 6-2. The Scots got an unearned run in the ninth before NJCU sealed it with a pop up.
NJCU will return north on Wednesday night and with cooperation from the weather, will open its northern schedule on Sunday, March 17 at 1 p.m. with a non-conference game with Wesley College (Del.) at the Thomas M. Gerrity Athletic Complex. The Wolverines are 1-7-1 with a doubleheader to be played on March 16. Watch live on #GothicVision at www.NJCUGothicKnights.com/GothicVision or live stats https://njcugothicknights.com/sidearmstats/baseball/summary.
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