By Miguel Gonzalez
Coming back from a successful spring break trip, the baseball team continued to dominate its opponents. During the week, the Lions defeated Widener University, Haverford College, Cairn University and New Jersey Athletic Conference foe Rutgers University-Newark.
On a trip to Chester, Pennsylvania on March 28, the Lions outlasted Widener 9-4 in 11 innings. The usual 10 innings were not enough for both teams, as the game was tied at four entering the 11th.
With runners on first and second base, junior outfielder Thomas Persichetti hit a sacrifice bunt, allowing sophomore infielder Aydon Chavis to reach third base. Senior infielder Tommy McCarthy then ripped a single and drove in two runs to put the Lions up 6-4.
The team then took advantage of a wild pitch and fielding error to score three more runs. In the bottom of the 11th, senior pitcher Zac deRocco clinched the victory when he forced three Widener batters to ground out.
The team then traveled to Haverford, Pennsylvania and defeated Haverford College, 6-4. Led by junior catcher David Cardona III’s three-hit performance, the Lions offense produced a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never stopped.
Meanwhile, freshman pitcher/infielder Matt Volpe silenced Haverford’s bats and struck out six for four innings. In the bottom of the fourth, Haverford cut the Lions lead to 4-3 off of singles.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the team added two runs in the top of the sixth. With Cardona III on third base, junior outfielder Jacob Simon smashed a home run to right field, pushing the team’s lead to 6-3.
While Haverford added a run in the next inning, the Lions protected their lead and ultimately won.
Back at George Ackerman Park on Friday, March 29, the Lions continued to surge ahead when they defeated Cairn University, 11-7. Down 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Lions’ offense exploded.
Cardona III got the big inning started when he ripped a single to the left field to drive a run. The team then loaded the bases after Haverford’s pitcher threw a wild pitch and walked McCarthy.
Junior infielder Gary Otten capitalized on the opportunity when he smacked a single and tied the game at six.
With only one out, senior outfielder Matt Giacose hit a sacrifice fly to put the Lions ahead 7-6.
Senior outfielder Ryan Fischer then delivered a roaring triple, padding the Lions lead 9-6. Fischer was not done yet, as he scored the team’s 10th run off a wild pitch.
With a surmountable lead in hand, the Lions secured the 11-7 win with the help of sophomore pitcher Zachary Padersky and deRocco’s shutout pitching.
As the weather grew warm on Saturday, March 30, so did the Lions’ offense. The team swept Rutgers University-Newark 7-1 and 5-3.
Junior pitcher Peter Nielsen pitched a gem against Rutgers, only surrendering one run while tossing a complete game with 109 pitches. Fischer also had a strong performance at the plate, hitting a pair of singles and a double.
In the second game, the Lions came from behind to sneak past Rutgers 5-3. With the team down 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Simon launched a double. Otten later added an insurance run when he hit a single to left field. Senior pitcher Dylan Crowley then closed out the top of the ninth to secure the win.
The Lions will look to add to their dominant season when they travel to face Montclair State University for a conference matchup on Thursday, April 4.