This past weekend, the Rowan baseball team traveled to Annville, Pennsylvania and won the NCAA Annville Regional Championship at Lebanon Valley College. In the double-elimination tournament between Rowan, Lebanon Valley, Washington & Jefferson College, and Mitchell College, the Profs came out on top after winning all three of their games at McGill Field.
On May 20, the Profs faced the Mitchell College Mariners in game one of the tournament and would win by a score of 7-1. Hunter Wroniuk, who just won his first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Baseball Player of the Week, went three for four with a double, two RBI singles and one run scored.
After having a rough outing in the NJAC tournament against Ramapo, Eli Atiya would step on the mound wheeling and dealing. He allowed one run and six strikeouts in eight innings of work.
“The coaches did a great job at calling the pitches,” Atiya said. “After Ramapo, I was just told, ‘No one cares about what happened in the past. All people care about is what happens here tonight.”
The Washington & Jefferson Presidents, who beat the Lebanon Valley Flying Dutchmen, would be the Profs’ next opponent. In the 94-degree weather on Saturday, May 21, Rowan would come out victorious once again by a score of 14-7.
Offensively, Ryan Murphy, Anthony Schooley, and Eric DiDomenico each had three hits. Everyone in the starting lineup got on base at least twice and the Profs scored half their runs in the eighth and ninth innings combined.
Jason O’Neill was the starting pitcher for the Profs who went six innings, allowed five earned runs and recorded four strikeouts. In the seventh inning, Mike Shannon came on in relief and only surrendered one run in his three innings of work. He also got his first save of the season.
The Profs would then have a rematch against the Presidents on Sunday, May 22, after they beat Mitchell College in game five of the tournament. Nine runs were scored in the Profs’ 9-0 victory where they blanked the Presidents thanks to a three-hit shutout from Rowan’s stater, Michael Miles.
“I did not want to let these guys down and there was no chance we were playing two [games] today,” Miles said. “It was hot enough to play one and I knew if I just kept us in it our offense would attack things on.”
Five of their nine runs would be scored in the bottom of the eighth inning and everyone in the lineup got on with a hit. Murphy went three for five on the day and would finish the weekend going six for 12 with three runs scored, two triples, one double and four RBIs.
“Going into the year, we talked about how we had a new team, and they had to create their identity,” Head Coach Mike Dickson said prior to the tournament. “They embraced it all year. We struggled a little bit in the conference tournament and were able to move past that, but we did a great job this weekend and we have to continue to get better as we move forward.”
The Profs will now be headed to Mansfield, Connecticut for the NCAA Division III Baseball Super Regionals. They will face the No. 1 ranked team in division three, the Eastern Connecticut State Warriors in a best-of-three series beginning on Friday, May 27. If the Profs can get past this series, they will reach the NCAA Division III Baseball World Series for the second year in a row.
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