It might seem like just another victory for the 10-2-1 Lions this season, but to the College’s baseball players and coach, Sunday’s 7-2 win over Dominican was a lot more.
“This was a much bigger win for us than a lot of the others because it was so close,” Junior Julius Jenkins, pitcher, said.
Head coach Rick Dell said the Lions were pitted against the Chargers’ strong pitcher, senior Matt Skrypack, which kept scoring low for the first few innings.
“He threw extremely well, at a downward plane,” Dell said.
Dell said the Lions put up a strong effort against Skrypack and the rest of the Chargers (4-4), pulling away from a scoreless slump in the beginning. At the bottom of the second, the Lions had posted two runs with senior catcher Sergio Sencion and junior outfielder Jamie Riese crossing the plate.
The Lions held onto the lead until Dominican tallied a homrun at the top of the fourth.
“We were kind of flat in the beginning, and then we were able to pull our heads together and pull together as a team,” senior shorstop Nick Stine said. “Then it all fell our way.”
Two critical runs came at the bottom of the sixth, giving the Lions a 4-1 lead. Stine singled in Riese and senior right fielder Greg Martinez singled in Stine.
Dominican threatened a comeback at the top of the seventh. With the Chargers at bat, and the bases loaded, the Lions switched pitchers from junior Mark Sanborn to Jenkins mid-play.
The Chargers hit a grounder that flew between second and third, which Stine recovered and converted into a double play for the Lions.
“I was just thinking that I had to get the job done,” Jenkins said. “I trusted that my fielders would make the play.”
“This was a critical part of the game,” Dell said. “It is a good team that can get out of these situations.”
The Lions tallied three more runs, including one from Stine who scored off a triple and an error. Stine went 2-for-4 at the plate, getting two RBIs and two runs.
“It felt good to get out of a slump that I’ve been in lately,” Stine said. “It was good to get back in there and help out the team.”
The Lions started off slow again in their 11-4 win last Wednesday over Gwynedd Mercy College.
The game didn’t really get underway until the bottom of the fifth when the Lions secured their lead, and didn’t look back.
Gaining three runs off two hits, the score stood at 6-2. Before that, the Griffins had tallied two runs at the top of the first and the Lions had answered back with three runs at the bottom of the second.
With a strong lead, the Lions added five more runs at the bottom of the seventh. Freshman Mike Feaster gained two RBIs and finished the game 2-for-5 at the plate, with two runs scored and a stolen base.
The Lions boasted a strong defense, with freshman pitcher Ryan Casey giving up only three runs off seven hits after five innings.
“I think Casey did a real nice job,” Dell said. “Brad Downs was out because of a stiff shoulder, and Casey really stepped up.”
The Lions will host Richard Stockton College on Thursday at 3:00 p.m.