The seventh nationally-ranked Rowan baseball team defeated their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rivals, New Jersey City University (NJCU), in both doubleheader games on Sunday, April 10.
Much of the Profs’ lineup, including senior catcher Hunter Wroniuk, brought the heat to the plate during the cold and windy day.
Wroniuk went a combined 5-7 with six RBIs against the 8-16 Gothic Knights. As Rowan picked up the first win 16-3 and the second 13-4, Wroniuk explained what he did to help the Profs’ dominate offense.
“I changed my stance up earlier this week and moved my hands back,” Wroniuk said. “My object for today was just hitting the ball hard. Even if I got out, I just wanted to hit the ball hard.”
The Profs have had a lot of success in the past against NJCU, winning 27 out of 30 games they’ve played against each other since 2007. Sunday was nothing new for them as they racked up 16 runs on 15 hits to win game one and topped the day off with 13 runs on 13 hits in game two.
The Profs dominated the first game from start to finish, scoring their first 13 runs in only five innings to erase an early 1-0 deficit. NJCU did not help themselves, committing a combined ten errors on Sunday, six of them coming in the first game.
Leadoff hitter, junior second baseman Tyler Cannon, added an offensive spark going a combined 6-12 with three RBIs on the day and junior right fielder, Ryan Murphy added five RBIs as well.
The beginning of the second game relatively close as Rowan was only leading 6-2 going into the fourth, but the tide changed in the bottom of the inning when a controversial double play call killed any momentum that NJCU was using to comeback.
After that call, the avalanche from the Profs began again. Senior first baseman, Eric DiDomenico, led the fifth inning with a solo home run that sparked a four-run inning for the Profs, giving them a commanding 10-2 lead.
Starting pitcher, graduate student Donald Zellman, never gave NJCU another chance after that by keeping their leadoff hitters off balance and attacking the strike zone. Zellman went seven innings, struck out six, and only allowed two runs on six hits.
“My approach was to get ahead early in counts,” Zellman said. “I wanted to throw my breaking ball for strikes which I think is the main reason why I was able to perform so well today.”
NJCU leadoff hitters went a combined 2-7 against Zellman yesterday, making it hard for them to get anything going early on.
“These guys are known for their speed so keeping those guys off the basepaths is definitely helpful,” Zellman said.
The Profs scored a combined 29 runs on 28 hits while giving up seven runs on 18 hits and only committed one error through both games.
“This team is dangerous one through nine,” Wroniuk said. “Anyone, anyway.”
The 18-5 Profs are now ranked second in the conference, trailing only behind Kean University which could lead to a conference-deciding doubleheader on Saturday, April 30.
As for now, they will play again on Tuesday, April 12, when they host Penn State Abington in a rescheduled matchup from last Tuesday.
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