Lions blown out by Profs, lose close ones to Rutgers-Newark

The Lions gave up 16 runs in a loss to Rowan University this week. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

Despite good pitching performances, the College’s baseball team went 0-4 this past week against NJAC foes Rowan University and Rutgers University-Newark.

Outside of a 16-3 blowout loss against Rowan on Thursday, the team lost its doubleheader with Rutgers-Newark and its second game with Rowan on Sunday by a combined six runs.

Pitching was a strong point for the team, with senior pitcher Connor Henderson throwing for eight innings and only three runs against Rutgers-Newark on Saturday and sophomore pitcher Bobby Graber throwing for six innings and three runs against Rowan on Sunday. However, even with their great pitching performances, the team’s offense just couldn’t produce the run support for their pitchers.

“Sometimes the starting pitchers pitch well and the team still does not win, but there are also games where the starting pitcher does not pitch well and the team wins,” Graber said. “We need to get both the starting pitching and offense working together, and once that happens, we will be a tough team to beat.”

Head coach Dean Glus attributes the team’s recent struggles to focus and believes that if every player just plays within their role the team will succeed.

“We need to relax and each player needs to focus on themselves and do what they need to do to win the game,” Glus said. “We also need to stay positive. We are a good team, and right now things haven’t been clicking, but good things happen to good players who work hard.”

The game Sunday against Rowan proved to be a rough one for the Lions, as they came back to get within one run of the Professors (after relief pitching gave up two runs following Graber’s exit), only to give up two runs in the next inning, which brought the score to its final total of 7-4.

Things are not getting any easier for the Lions this week, as they have a very rough stretch of six games in five days leading up to the weekend, including a doubleheader against William Paterson University and a pair of games against Rutgers University-Camden.

William Paterson is tied for second in the NJAC with a 5-1 record, but the College may be able to find some relief against the Scarlet Raptors, who are 1-5 in-conference and 8-12 overall.

“Our pitching depth will play a big role in whether we have success this week,” Graber said. “There will be underclassmen stepping up pitching big innings for us with six games in a five day stretch.”

While this stretch will be taxing for the team, it’s something that it prepared for by playing its slate of games in its spring trip to Arizona, which featured many back-to-back games.

“It will be a busy week, but we do the same thing in Arizona to get us ready for a stretch like this,” Glus said, “so the players know and understand what is takes to do well in many games in a short period of time.”

The Lions will open up play this week against non-conference foe Gwynedd-Mercy College before returning to conference play later in the week against Rutgers University-Camden.

“Every game we play is important because it counts towards our regional record,” Graber said. “We’re hoping to win both non-conference games this week to gain some much-needed momentum headed into NJAC play this weekend.”