The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

TCNJ baseball continues to soar

<p><em>Junior infielder Andrew Fernandez at the plate (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator). </em></p>

Junior infielder Andrew Fernandez at the plate (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).

By Joseph Caruso
Staff Writer

The College returned to their home field at George Ackerman Park on March 20, yet to have suffered a loss on the season with their best start since 2006, with a record of 9-0. In their first home game of the year, Widener University looked to end that streak, but they would have had to slow down the red-hot Lions offense to do so. 

If there was any speculation that the College had magical powers exclusive to them in Florida, it was put to rest rather quickly. Just like they have been doing for the entire season, it was a hot start for the bats as the Lions scored five unanswered runs in the first two innings thanks to four hits and one error. The Pride of Widener University did not go down easily, scoring four runs of their own to cut the deficit to just three in the top of the fifth inning. However, the College would score ten straight runs and not look back. 

It was a big day for junior infielder Andrew Fernandez who finished with five RBIs and a home run. Senior starting pitcher Jordan Gray earned the victory after throwing six innings and allowing four runs in an 18-8 win to move the Lions to 10-0 on the season. 

The Lions welcomed the Fords of Haverford College on March 21, looking to push their win streak to 11 games. They wasted no time, and in the bottom of the first inning put up seven runs, en route to 14 on the day. Junior infielder Mike LaGravenis had a nice day with two hits, including hit number 100 of his collegiate career. It was another big game for Fernandez, who went 3-4.

Junior starter Dan Merkel continued his great start, earning a victory after pitching six innings of one-run ball and allowing his first earned run of the season through three starts. The College earned victory number 11, besting the Fords 14-1. 

The Lions would end the week with a doubleheader against the Red Devils of Dickinson College on Friday, hoping to finish this homestand undefeated. It would not be easy, as the Red Devils were 11-3 heading into this contest, coming off two consecutive victories. 

In the first game, the College was not intimidated and continued their first-inning success with three runs in the bottom to jump out in front. The Lions would add six more runs in the rest of the game, led by junior infielder Justin Marcario who reached base four times in five plate appearances and drove in three runs. Senior outfielder Michael Schumacher had two RBIs of his own. 

On the mound, fifth-year pitcher Ben Amon had a flawless day with seven scoreless innings and was rewarded with his second victory of the year as the Lions took the opening game of the doubleheader, 9-0. 

In the final game, it looked like it could be more of the same for the College, who were looking for their 13th consecutive win. With Lagravenis at the plate, the Red Devils committed a costly error that scored two runners and gave the Lions an early 2-1 lead in the second inning. Dickinson College quickly responded and tied the game at two in the top of the third. The score held for a while until the Red Devils scored what would be the game-winning run to put them ahead 3-2. 

It was a much tougher game than the Lions are used to at the plate, scoring just two runs on seven hits. Regardless, good pitching from junior Jackson Malouf kept the game close. A pitching change in the seventh inning saw freshman pitcher Jack O'Shea on the mound, who conceded the winning run and would receive the loss as the Lions dropped their first game of the season, 3-2. 

The 12-game win streak for the College was a historic feat for the team, and they were the last unbeaten Division III team in the country until they suffered their first loss on Friday. 


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