Coming off an electric weekend in which Rowan baseball finished 4-1 against conference opponents Montclair State and NJCU, the Profs were right back on the field Tuesday afternoon facing off against Penn State Abington.
The start didn’t necessarily go as anticipated. After a first-inning that resulted in a 1-1 ballgame, Penn State Abington tacked on three more runs in the second to give themselves a 4-1 lead. Their offensive outburst did not stop there, as they had extended their lead to 7-2 by the end of the fifth inning.
“We had a lighter day in practice yesterday,” Head Coach Mike Dickson said in reference to the team’s slow start. “We played 36 innings in 48 hours, so we had a lighter day yesterday, and I just think that we didn’t come out to play right from the get-go.”
The Profs were able to slowly chip away after that. After adding on three runs in the bottom of the fifth, the offense managed to score one more in the sixth and seventh to tie the game up at seven a piece, and then two more in the eighth to take the lead heading into the ninth inning. Christian Bascunan was then able to shut the door on the Nittany Lions to earn his fourth save of the season.
“We did not play well early in the game. We had eight freebies in the first two innings, nine in the first three innings. They had two guys on base every inning, you can’t sustain playing well if you’re gonna have that,” Head Coach Mike Dickison said after the team’s win. “From our standpoint, it’s just that we want to keep chipping away. And I knew that later in the game, our bullpen was fresh and we had older guys that were ready to throw. So I knew that if we could get to those older guys and keep it a manageable distance that we were gonna swing enough to be able to win the game.”
The offense was carried all day long by Ryan Murphy; who went 3-4, Patrick Defeciani; who went 2-4, Ryan Mostrangeli; who went 3-4 with a team-leading 3 RBI, and Hunter Wroniuk; who went 2-4 with 2 RBI. However, it was Dylan Maria who tied up the game at seven a piece with a deep blast to dead center field and Anthony Schooley who came through with the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
“There’s nothing better,” Schooley said in reference to his go-ahead RBI. “I don’t even know what else to say about that, I’m just happy that my guys had my back, they were keeping me up all game, might not be playing the best but there’s definitely people keeping my chin up and making sure I can go out there and do something special at the end of the game. That’s stuff that you dream about, really proud that I was able to do that and really proud of this team that we were able to come back, a lot of resilience.”
Up until that point, Schooley was not having his best day at the plate. Schooley was 0-4 with two strikeouts leading into his game-changing at-bat.
According to Schooley, his mindset heading up to the plate was no different than any other at-bat, even with his rough day looming.
“We preach a goldfish mentality,” Schooley said. “Goldfish have a small memory, they don’t remember anything. Coach always preaches that. You do something bad, you make an error in the field like I had in the first inning, when you strike out a couple times, you gotta shake it right away and go out there and compete. The biggest thing that I can attest to is that we’re a family here, so I’m glad that I could go out there and get the job done when we needed it.”
It was an emotional game for the Profs, as the necessary comeback tested their resilience for the Profs to win 9-7. It’s safe to say that they passed that test on Tuesday evening, as they now head into even more conference play with all the momentum in the world. The Profs will hit the field next Thursday, April 14, when TCNJ comes to town.
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