The Rowan baseball team was able to squeak by their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rivals, The College of New Jersey Lions (TCNJ), 8-7 on Wednesday, April 20, in a game that they almost watched slip away.
The Profs had an early and commanding 6-1 lead, thanks in large part to starting pitcher Michael Miles and a three-run homerun from right fielder Ryan Murphy.
Miles went five innings, allowing only one hit and one run but was taken out due to a high pitch count and TCNJ took advantage, scoring six runs in two innings to take a 7-6 lead in the eighth inning.
“We just didn’t throw strikes,” Head Coach Mike Dickson said. “We didn’t throw enough strikes… We walked two leadoff guys then gave up a hit followed by a hit by pitch and pitching with multiple runners on base is never easy… that’s where those big run innings come from.”
The Profs were able to come back and put the game away in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a two-out single by Murphy and a go-ahead two-run homerun by designated hitter (DH) Patrick Defeciani.
“It feels great, feels amazing to get the win,” Defeciani said. “I was just trying to give my team the lead… I was looking for that fast ball inside, something I could hit hard and it just feels great just getting the win.”
Coach Dickson was not going to let his guys go down without a fight and had a message for them before their two-out rally in the bottom half of the eighth.
“Told them they just gotta keep competing,” Coach Dickson said. “We talk about that all the time… play til’ the last out and they did a good job at that.”
The Profs were able to show their resiliency late in this game after squandering their early lead and falling behind but never faded and kept the energy and their hopes up.
“They were resilient in the fact that they came back in that game,” Coach Dickson said. “It’s a good win on paper obviously after giving up a lead… good job by our bench and good job by Pat getting a two-run home run there for us to win that game.”
Defeciani also gave credit to his teammates who were able to keep their energy up and not become too discouraged.
“Some people got flat, some people were still up but I think we all did a good job staying up and keeping good energy,” Defeciani said.
After regaining the lead, the Profs brought in relief pitcher Christian Bascunan to close the door on TCNJ and steal a win for the Profs.
This win improves the Profs’ NJAC record to 8-2 and their overall record to 22-6. Meanwhile, TCNJ fell to 3-7 in NJAC play and 12-14 overall.
The Profs’ next game is scheduled for Thursday, April 21, at 3:30 p.m. as they travel to Rutgers-Camden (17-14) for a home and away series.
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