Rowan Baseball Gets Hot as They Head Into NJAC Play

Ryan Murphy sliding back to first base earlier this season. Murphy was recently named NJAC Player of the Week. Wednesday, March 30, 2022. - Staff Photographer / Tyrese Williams

Rowan baseball is beginning to hit its stride as we approach the mid-way mark of the season.

Following a 4-0 week in which the Profs knocked off Penn State-Harrisburg, Cabrini University and William Paterson University, their record now stands at an elite 15-4, as well as 2-0 in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play.

Even more conference play is on deck for this upcoming week, beginning on Friday, April 8, against New Jersey City University (NJCU). The Profs will then partake in a Saturday double-header at Montclair State University, followed by another game against NJCU on Sunday, April 9. 

Although the Profs will be taking on conference opponents, Head Coach Mike Dickson insists that the mindset heading in will be the same as it’s been all season.

“I talked to the team about each day, just going 1-0,” Coach Dickson said. “Just get a little bit better each day. Not looking too far ahead, not looking at one game being more important than the next, just taking it day by day. And when we win that game, we move on to the next day.”

Rowan will be looking to make their streak have five-straight wins on Friday when NJCU comes to town. The Profs have exploded with the bats during their four-game winning streak, averaging 12 runs a game on offense. 

With the team performing extremely well as of late, junior outfielder Ryan Murphy believes there is one thing to point at when trying to find the reason for the team’s success.

“We’re coming together as a team,” Murphy said. “We’re playing for each other a lot more. It helps when the last guy on the bench is producing in the game and helping with the game… We should be keeping it rolling at this point.”

Murphy, as well as junior pitcher Eli Atiya, both took home NJAC honors this past week, with Murphy capturing NJAC Player of the Week and Atiya winning NJAC Pitcher of the Week.

There is a strict formula to be able to perform at such a high level against elite competition, according to Atiya.

“Every day at practice, we’re not trying to do too much,” Atiya said. “We say ‘alright, that happened last week, let’s move on’ because I threw well last week, but next week I could come out and things could be different. Just attack every day and not do too much. Stay the same every day, work hard, and be the best you can be.”

In Murphy’s case, he feels as though a fellow teammate has helped him get everything to come together for him recently.

“Individually, something clicked for me after a batting round with Eric DiDomenico,” Murphy said. “The first couple weeks of the season, I wasn’t as hot as I could have been, and something clicked for me personally when he said ‘do what you’re supposed to do.’ I’ve been seeing the ball and hitting the ball a lot better. That’s what’s been helping me.”

Murphy and Atiya both had great weeks, but the focus is still on the team as a whole according to Head Coach Mike Dickson.

“I think both of them would say they’re only as good as the players around them,” Coach Dickson said. “Both of them would agree that they had great individual weeks, but a lot of their individual success comes from the team’s success… I think they would both agree that their individual success comes from players around them.”

It is clear that the Profs are in a great state of mind heading into a weekend full of conference battles. They will look to keep up their perfect conference record, starting with a Friday afternoon matchup at home against NJCU.

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