Baseball on 11-game winning-streak

Miguel Gonzalez and Alexander Reich
Sports Editor and Staff Writer

The baseball team seemingly leaves the diamond with a win after every game this season.

On March 27, the Lions defeated Widener University, 5-4, at George Ackerman Park. The team then prevailed over Haverford College, 4-3, at home on Wednesday, March 28. The following Saturday, March 31, the Lions traveled up to Newark, New Jersey where they played a doubleheader against Rutgers University-Newark and won both games, 12-0 and 7-3.

The team is currently on an 11-game winning-streak and has not lost a game since March 11, when they conceded to Aurora University, 8-3.

In the home game against Haverford, the Lions came out on top with the help of a walk-off hit by freshman utility player Avery Epstein. With the game tied at three in the bottom of the ninth inning, Epstein cracked a hit to left field and sent freshman infielder Aydon Chavis home for the game-winning run.

The Lions’ thunderous bats came to life against Rutgers-Newark. During the first game, sophomore outfielder Thomas Persichetti grounded out to the opponent’s shortstop, but collected an RBI in the process to put the Lions up, 1-0, in the top of the first inning.

In the third inning, Persichetti smacked a triple to right field and sent junior infielder Danny Borup to home plate to make the score 2-0. The Lions kept thriving in the third inning when senior infielder Zachary Shindler singled to right field and Persichetti scored to add another run.

With the Lions up 3-0 at the top of the fifth inning, senior outfielder Mike Follet ran home on a wild pitch to stretch the score to 4-0. Shindler then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring Borup home. The Lions were piling runs on the scoreboard with a 5-0 lead.

In the ninth inning, the Lions continued their scoring bombardment when junior first baseman Tommy McCarthy took advantage of a wild pitch and scored to increase the Lions’ lead to 9-0. It wasn’t over for the Lions offensively, as the team showcased its hitting power.

After McCarthy scored, sophomore catcher David Cardona III doubled to left field, sending sophomore outfielder Jacob Simon to home plate and padding the Lions’ lead, 10-0. In the next at-bat, Borup smacked ground-rule double to left to score another run. As a result, Cardona III scored to improve the blowout result to 11-0. Persichetti singled to shortstop and allowed Borup to score and finish out the team’s 12-0 victory.

Cardona collects three hits and two RBIs against Rutgers-Newark. (Miguel Gonzalez / Sports Editor)

While the Lions were piling hits, senior pitcher Joe Cirillo was unstoppable at the mound as he struck out seven opponents.

The Lions’ energy kept rolling and building up for their second game of the double header against Rutgers-Newark. After a rusty start, the Lions started scoring when senior catcher Steve Bucci singled down to left field. Simon scored to put the Lions ahead, 4-3.

After picking up two more runs in the fourth inning, Shindler hit a fly ball to center field for a sacrifice RBI, scoring Borup from third. The rest of the game was quiet offensively, but the Lions ultimately secured their 7-3 win and swept Rutgers-Newark in the doubleheader.

Simon was satisfied with the team’s overall effort against Rutgers-Newark.

“It was exactly how we wanted to open up conference play,” Simon said. “They’re a very good team and had a lot of success within the conference last year. We jumped out to a large lead in the first game and just kept the momentum going all the way through.”

Simon also gives credit to Cirillo and senior pitcher Brandon Zachary for their strong outings on the mound.

“We got two great starts by seniors Joe Cirillo and Brandon Zachary and we backed them up with 30 hits and 19 runs combined,” Simon said. “We wanted to send a statement to the conference as well as get our revenge on them, as they bested us in the conference tournament last year. We played two solid games in all aspects and we’re going to take the momentum into a big week of conference and non-conference games.”

The team competes on the road against Rutgers-University Camden on Thursday, April 5. The Lions then return to George Ackerman Park on Friday, April 6 to play Rutgers again at 3:30 p.m. Afterward, the baseball team will compete in a doubleheader against Ramapo College at home on Saturday, April 7, and is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m.

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