The men’s baseball team went 0-4 this week against Kean University on April 22, Richard Stockton College on April 23, and a double header with Rutgers University – Newark on April 24. The Lions hit a rough patch after a six-game winning streak, setting the team’s season record at 15-17 and at 8-7 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
“We need to make small adjustments to get back on track,” junior pitcher Connor Henderson said. “We’re a good team and can turn things around.”
The Lions were defeated by the Cougars 10-6, bringing the team’s six game conference winning streak to a close on Thursday. Sophomore infielder Jimmy Ruzich started the Lions with a run in the first as a sacrifice fly drove in freshman infielder Scott Kelly. The teams were back and forth with the Lions finally taking the lead in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore catcher Mike Galeotafiore singled in Kelly for the 5-4 lead.
The Cougars took the lead again, however, in the next inning. Freshman infielder Stephen Nappe helped the Cougars grab the win with a three-run homer in the ninth to seal the deal, 10-6.
On Friday, the Lions traveled to Richard Stockton to take on the Ospreys in a game that resulted in a 14-3 loss.
The Ospreys took control of the game by the third inning after sophomore outfielder Dan McGuckin hit a three-run homer propelling Stockton to a 9-1 lead over the Lions. The Ospreys followed up with four more runs in the fourth for the overall win.
The Lions continued the season on Saturday April 24 with a double header against Rutgers University – Newark where the Lions were met with two more losses added to the team’s record.
Game one proved difficult as the Lions were shut out by the Scarlet Raiders’ junior pitcher Billy Ceruti 4-0. The team picked up three runs in the third on Henderson as senior third baseman Joe Furnaguera of the Scarlet Raiders picked up an RBI double and senior first baseman Matt Lingo collected a two-run homer for the 4-0 win.
The Scarlet Raiders continued the team’s triumph over the Lions in game two, as well. The Lions fell right from the start allowing seven runs in the first which held them to an overall loss of 8-3 by the ninth. The Lions gathered just three runs on nine hits throughout the game. Junior Jason Zegarski and freshman Mike Murphy helped the Lions with a pair of hits. Junior Anthony Palmiotto also chipped in with a base hit and two runs for the Lions.
These four losses put the Lions in a bind for post season play, as the Lions need to win all three upcoming NJAC games in order to make it to the playoffs.
“It’s not just pitching, hitting or fielding that has hurt us. It’s a combination of all three and not producing at the right time,” Henderson said. “If we win all three conference games, we are in. We’d like to win them and make it easy on ourselves.”
The Lions continue the season with five consecutive games at home this week, starting with Stevens Institute of Technology at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27 in Ackerman Park.
Hilarey Wojtowicz can be reached at email@example.com.