Rowan’s baseball season is winding down with four games remaining, all versus conference opponents.
Even if they lose all four, it would be the eighth time in the past nine years that the Profs had a double-digit difference between wins and losses, as the seam is 26-7.
Despite losing 10-7 on Tuesday at Penn State Abington, the brown and gold stand near the top of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). They are tied with Ramapo and Rutgers-Camden in conference points with 18. Only TCNJ has more, with 22.
Although they have a fewer conference points than TCNJ, the Profs have two more wins than the Lions. The two teams split the season series at one win apiece.
As the remaining games lead up to the NJAC Tournament, the biggest question for Rowan is whether or not their starting staff can go deep into games. A starting pitcher for the team has gone five or fewer innings 14 times this season.
Despite the team’s success in pretty much every phase of the game this season, having a balanced, rested staff is key for a big tournament run. Hopefully they can turn their success into a tournament championship and land a bid within the NCAA Tournament.
Through his first three seasons, head coach Mike Dickson is 3-6 in tournament play.
Rowan’s last tournament championship win occurred in 2014, the year before Dickson’s arrival, under manager Juan Ranero. The Profs have qualified for the tournament every year since 1996 and haven’t missed it in back-to-back seasons since 1994-95.
This year, the team’s offense ranks second in doubles, second in home runs and second in total bases.
On the mound, ace Danny Serreino has dominated all year long. He’s gone 4-2 with a minuscule 0.93 ERA. Opposing hitters have hit just .109 versus him this season, while he’s averaged 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He leads the team in innings at 48.1.
In addition to Serreino, the remaining pitching rotation has been arguably the best in the NJAC. Sophomore southpaw Drew Ryback stands undefeated at 6-0 with a respectable 3.34 ERA. He has been a huge contributor this season, after only going 13.2 innings in 2017.
Another starter, Andrew DiPiazza, has been no slouch in comparison to the former two. DiPiazza, along Serreino, has arguably been the best on the mound so far. He’s second on the Profs’ pitching staff in wins at five and has averaged 11.4 strikeouts-per-nine innings.
If Dickson’s team can continue this type of dominance, there’s no telling as to how strong they’ll remain come tournament time. They are confident, balanced and hungry.
Perhaps a championship run is just what the doctor ordered for them.
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