Live footage, player interviews, and a recap of the Profs’ home finale versus New Jersey City University

Rowan left fielder Frankie Aiello, with the scoreboard up behind him (Photo/Kyle Lutz)

Last Friday afternoon, at 3:30 PM on April 28th, the Profs hosted the New Jersey City University Gothic Knights.

(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)

Starting Lineups

New Jersey City University

Position Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB
3B T. Born 4 0 0 0 0 0 2
LF B. Feehan 2 1 0 0 0 1 0
CF N. Ruscingno 4 0 1 0 0 1 1
1B D. Berardi 4 0 0 0 0 1 1
1B     J.Papamarkos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
RF J. Coutinho 3 0 2 1 1 1 0
DH L. Gomez 4 0 1 0 0 0 1
PR     S. Erhardt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2B J. Reinecke 4 0 2 0 0 1 0
C CJ Pulcine 3 0 0 0 0 1 1
PH     S. Ramos 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
SS N. LoGatto 3 0 1 0 0 1 0
PH     Z. Buchholz 1 0 0 0 0 1 2
P J. Stone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     S. Gibney 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     J. Casella 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     R. Lorenzo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     A. Guerra 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     D. Foley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 33 1 7 1 1 9 8

 

 

Rowan University

Position Player AB R H RBI BB SO LOB
RF Jason Clapper 4 1 2 0 0 0 0
2B Alex Kokos 4 3 0 1 1 0 2
DH Shawn Leydon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
PH/DH     Monny Strickland 2 0 1 1 0 0 0
1B Joe Sadler 3 1 1 4 1 0 1
SS Matt Jolly 5 0 1 0 0 1 3
SS     Matt Edwards 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C Steven Hewa 3 0 1 0 0 0 0
3B Dillon Mendel 3 1 1 0 1 1 2
LF Frankie Aiello 3 1 0 0 0 2 1
CF Shane Brown 3 1 1 1 0 0 0
P Andrew Cohen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P     Sam Nocito 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 31 8 8 7 3 4 9
Pitchers
New Jersey City University
Player IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HBP IBB AB BF FO GO NP
J. Stone (L, 0-1) 1.0 2 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 6 1 2 23
S. Gibney 3.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 2 0 8 11 2 3 40
J. Casella 0.2 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 0 2 23
R. Lorenzo 2.1 5 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 12 12 4 2 42
A. Guerra 0.0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 8
D. Foley 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 4 2 1 10
TOTALS 8 8 4 3 4 0 0 5 0 31 41 9 10 146
Rowan University
Player IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HBP IBB AB BF FO GO NP
Andrew Cohen (W, 4-4) 8.0 5 1 1 1 7 0 0 2 0 28 31 6 10 118
Sam Nocito 1.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 5 5 1 0 18
TOTALS 7 1 1 1 9 0 0 2 0 33 36 7 10 136

Coming into the game, the Gothic Knights were an average team — with a win-loss record of 16-16. Both teams play within the Division III New Jersey Athletic Conference. Within the conference, Rowan has the second-best record, at 26-14 (a .650 winning percentage), behind only The College of New Jersey (27-10).

On Friday, it was Rowan’s second and final regular-season meeting against New Jersey City. Prior to Friday’s game, serving as the first game of a home-and-away doubleheader, New Jersey City, the night before, hosted the Profs at the Thomas M. Gerrity AC field (NJC’s home field). New Jersey City won the game 5-4, in a come-from-behind victory.

As for this game, like most recent home games, the weather was perfect, with a forecast of around 80 degrees and partly sunny weather. Christopher Williams was the home-plate umpire, while Anthony Gencarelli served as the first-base umpire. It was Rowan’s 13th conference game.

On the mound, Rowan senior starting pitcher Andrew Cohen got the nod. For the season, he’s now 4-4, with a respectable 2.65 earned-run average, and a strikeouts-per-game average of 10.2. For the day, he pitched eight innings, allowed only one earned run, and struck out seven batters. It was the fourth time this season that he’s pitched seven innings or more in a game.

As for the Gothic Knights, senior pitcher Joe Stone got the nod on the mound by his manager Jerry Smith. Despite starting the game, Stone has been used little in games. So far this season, his season high for innings pitched in a game is three, which occurred at Staten Island on April 10th. His game against Rowan was his first start of the season.

Including this game, out of Rowan’s 38 games this season, they’ve scored at least one run in the first inning on 12 occasions.

Rowan got off to a hot start, shutting down the Gothic Knights in the top of the first, then scoring three runs during the bottom half of the inning, to take an early lead.

In that bottom of the first inning, Rowan batters had a single, a walk, and a three-run home run — all within the top four batters of the lineup.

Within that first inning, on a 0-2 count, Jason Clapper started the game by singling up the middle of the field on a high fastball. Alex Kokos laid off two outside fastballs and a low breaking ball, and drew a walk and advanced Clapper up a base to second.

After designated hitter Shawn Leydon flied out on a 1-2 high fastball, Joe Sadler waited for a better pitch and took another high fastball in, on a 3-1 count, good enough to sail a high home run to left field — off of the foul pole no less. Instantly, a strong 3-0 lead was formed. Despite, after Sadler’s three-run shot, two groundouts to end the inning (by Matt Jolly and catcher Steven Hewa), it was a solid start to the game for Rowan.

Despite having three full-count (3-2) at-bats through his first two innings, starter Andrew Cohen settled down and only had three of them through the rest of his start — his final five innings. As for Stone, in his lone inning he had 23 pitches, 12 of which were for strikes.

Their relievers weren’t much better, too, as, in the remaining eight innings, the five other NJCU pitchers allowed six hits and two walks, despite poor fielding behind their pitchers (they had three errors). In addition to that, five Rowan batters were hit by a pitch.

For the day, NJCU pitchers totaled 146 pitches, which averages out to 4.71 pitches thrown per at-bat. In 31 at-bats, Rowan batters struck out on only four occasions (12.9 percent).

 

Lead-off batter Jason Clapper started in right field, despite playing in left field for the previous three games. Going 2/4, it was his 14th multi-hit game of the season. In those 14 games, Rowan is 8-6 (.571).

After the game ended, which was at approximately 6:01 PM, I got a chance to speak with both right fielder Jason Clapper and first baseman Joe Sadler. We discussed the team’s game-to-game approach, coach Mike Dickson’s lineup adjustments, and their advice for both 2017 incoming freshman and soon-to-be sophomore players.

Of note, the game was the same day as Joe Sadler’s birthday, to which he alluded to during the interview (the year of his birthday is unknown).

 

Right fielder Jason Clapper batting on deck (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Rowan’s manager Mike Dickson, next to the team’s dugout
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Senior infielder Matt Jolly, batting on deck (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Senior right fielder Jason Clapper, next to the dugout (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Rowan’s infield, with Rowan starting pitcher Andrew Cohen warming up (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
Profs-Gothic Knights baseball notecard and program (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Statistics/Side Arm Stats) (Photo/Kyle Lutz)
(Statistics/Rowan Athletics) (Photo/Kyle Lutz)

Notes

-This was Jason Clapper’s 10th consecutive start at the lead-off position. Leading up to Rowan’s 2-1 win over Rutgers on April 13th, he had yet to lead-off a game in the team’s previous 28 games.

-In Clapper’s 10 games in the lead-off spot, he’s hitting .487 (19/39), with 11 runs, two home runs, two doubles, nine walks, and seven runs batted in. In his previous 28 games, he went 28 for 83, for a .337 batting average.

-After being the team’s lead-off hitter for the first 18 games of the season, freshman infielder Alex Kokos has been the second hitter in the lineup for the past eight games. In the number-two spot, he’s hitting .318 (14-44) . As a lead-off hitter, he’s hit .250 (19/76). In his past five games as a lead-off hitter, he only hit .187 (3/16), which is possibly why coach Mike Dickson moved him down a spot in the lineup.

In the 18 regular season games that he was a lead-off hitter, the team went 13-5 (for a winning percentage of 72.7). Since then, the team’s gone 7-3 (for a winning percentage of 70). For the season, he’s hitting .287.

Scoring Summary

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New Jersey City U. 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 7 3
Rowan University 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 X 8 8 0

 

Live footage of the Profs-Lions baseball game

Last Thursday afternoon (at 3:30 PM) I attended a baseball game in Glassboro between the Rowan Profs and The College of New Jersey Lions . The temperature was 77 and sunny, perfect weather for baseball. Rowan and TCNJ have been division rivals ever since 1957, when Rowan then was known as the New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro.

Leading up to their 9-2 win on that day versus Rowan, TCNJ had won nine games in a row. They currently have the best record among the conference (overall, they are 23-8, and 11-3 versus conference teams). Before losing, Rowan were winners in five out of their six previous outings. The day after the game, the two teams had a rematch, except up in Ewing, New Jersey (where TCNJ plays), which Rowan won 5-4.

For the season, Rowan is 25-11 — including 9-5 within the conference.

In addition to live footage from throughout the game, after the game ended I interviewed Rowan manager Mike Dickson about his starting pitcher, in-game adjustments, and the game’s umpiring (the home-plate umpire was Chris Carroll).

 

 

Audio interview with Rowan baseball coach Mike Dickson

Photo/Kyle Lutz

Head coach Mike Dickson, who’s 36 years old, has been the Profs’ baseball coach since July 30th of 2014. As an undergraduate student, Dickson graduated from Rowan in 2002, then finished his master’s degree at Rowan in 2005. As he completed his undergraduate degree, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. In addition to that, he completed his graduate degree in higher education administration.

After graduating, he received Rowan’s Medallion Award, which awards students who excel in academics. Previous to his coaching tenure at Rowan, he was Rowan at Gloucester County College’s baseball head coach from January of 2006 until July of 2014 (see above).

At Rowan’s Esbjornson Gym, I conducted a second interview with Mike.

 

Boop Stats: A Profile about Sports Blogger Bob Vetrone

Last week I interviewed Bob Vetrone, who is the scoreboard editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and who also has his own blog.

Bob, who’s 54 years old, was born and raised in Philadelphia, graduating in 1980 from Northeast Catholic High School, and now he resides in Cherry Hill. He lives there with his wife Maryanne (her maiden name is Corbett) and his two daughters. Bob has been with the Daily News since 1982. Prior to that, he spent the previous five years working at the (now defunct) Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper.

From going as a school sports reporter with Northeast Catholic High School to now having his own popular blog is very impressive, in addition to his scoreboard editor position.

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Photo/David Lee Preston

I started the interview by asking him to give a brief background about himself, as well as when his blog was created, and why he decided to create it.

Question: How old are you, and where did you grow up and graduate from?

Answer: I’m 54 and I grew up in Philly, and now I live in Cherry Hill with my wife Maryanne and my two daughters. I graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1980, a few months before the Phillies beat Kansas City in the World Series.

Question: When did you start your blog, which is called boopstats?

Answer: I started the blog within the early summer of 2011, which is published through Philly.com. The name and the basis behind the blog came from Comcast Sportsnet Philly analyst Michael Barkann. On Comcast Sportsnet’s roundtable TV show Daily News Live, I would refer to the stats that I gave him from time to time as “Boop Stats.” Boop is a long-standing nickname of mine. In fact, the very first blog post of mine was thanking him for the idea. A lot of them are baseball related, the same thing occurred when I wrote articles growing up.

Question: Why did you start your blog?

Answer: To give readers and diehard baseball fans a refreshing point of view, and, most importantly, to give readers updated baseball stats, to enjoy and gage their interest even more. Naturally, I have more freedom now as a blogger than when I wrote my own piece as a journalist in college.

Question: What do you think is the most challenging thing about maintaining your blog?

Answer: Making sure that your reader/audience isn’t unsatisfied with material that may seem repetitive, so in other words, to try to continuously engage them.

Question: What role do you think blogging should play in the future of journalism?

Answer: It plays a huge role, in that the content on a blog should always be interesting and fun.

Question: What is the most interesting thing about writing/having your own blog?

Answer: That it’s within my fingertips, and I’m not pulling statistics from a third party. I try to maintain having original research.

Question: What advice do you have for someone just starting their own blog?

Answer: To take it one step at a time, to do your work, to give interesting research, and have fun with it.

A huge thanks to Bob Vetrone for the interview.

 

 

 

The history of Profs’ baseball

1978_baseball
1978 Championship Team- photo courtesy of Rowan Athletics

Leading up to this season, which starts next Sunday at 2:30, the Profs have been a very successful, well-coached team over the past 40 years. 

Even before Rowan got it’s name, they were — back then known as the Glassboro State College Profs — a team of fundamentals and consistency. From 1977 till 1979, they won the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship title each year and subsequently earned a seed in the NCAA DIII (Division III) Tournament (teams who win the NJAC championship are automatically given a seed in the Division III tournament). Two of those three years culminated in a Division III championship, first in 1978 (in a 5-3 win over Marietta College), and finally in 1979 (in a 3-0 win over Cal State Stanislaus).

Six-years ago, the university honored the 1978 championship team (see photo above), with an induction for the entire team- for all 40 members, including (the late) head coach Mickey Briglia and assistant head coach George Gerstle. Remarkably, Briglia not only was the coach for the team’s two championship seasons (see above) in ’78 and ’79, but he coached the team for a quarter of a century (from 1964-1988).

Briglia not only was a college manager but a former player, too, having graduated and earning a B.A. in education with Ohio University in 1950. During his playing time there, he not only was a third baseman but the team’s co-captain during his senior year. From player to manager, he brought wisdom, and earned praise and respect by everybody around him at Glassboro State. Hopefully Mike Dickson can accomplish the same feats as Briglia did in his time here.

Not only was Briglia well respected here, but in 1994, then known as Rowan College, the college inducted him into their Sports Hall of Fame. On top of that, he also has an award honored in his name. Known as the Dr. Michael Briglia Scholar Athletic Award, the award annually honors a Rowan senior male athlete with whom possesses skill, attitude and dedication to athletics. Great coaches like that hardly ever happen for Rowan, so Mike Dickson certainly has his work cut out for him.

Also of note, according to NJ.com columnist Bob Shryock, Briglia was a good friend of the late Richard Wackar (with whom the team’s football field is named after). Wackar is not only credited as the team’s basketball coach from 1956-63, preceding Briglia, but the one — as well as Briglia — who resurrected the team’s football program.

In team history, ever since the 1966 Major League Baseball Draft, 24 Profs’ players have been selected to play in the majors. The highest Profs’ player ever drafted was catcher Dominic Antonini in 1977, who was drafted 26th overall by the Seattle Mariners. Despite being drafted high, he never played a single game in the major leagues. Only two other Profs’ players in history were drafted in the fifth round or fewer, outfielder Steve Murray in 1980 (109th overall) and fellow outfielder David Carter in 1974 (108th overall).

In the next five to 10 years, will the team be lucky enough to have a player worthy of being drafted? Neither of the other two other players (see last paragraph) ever made it to the big leagues either. If head coach Mike Dickson, who’ll be interviewed by me sometime later this week, can successfully groom a guy like infielder Matt Jolly, who’s a senior, to be even better than he was the past couple of years, then great.

In 40 games last season, he hit .344, including six doubles, and a .408 on-base-percentage, good enough for second best on the team (behind only fellow senior, outfielder, Eric Oliver (.439). Jolly was a successful junior college baseball player, too. Two years ago with Rowan at Gloucester County College, he hit .297 and drove in 25 runs. Jolly has previous playoff experience, as he was a part of the RAGCG team that went to the Division III World Series that season against Nassauu County Community College in New York. Some new Major League Baseball talent coming out of Rowan would be phenomenal.

Starting with the team’s early success and leading up until now, as former president John F. Kennedy put it, “those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

There is certainly a lot of good baseball to look forward to this season.

Introductory Post

The Rowan University Profs’ men’s baseball team will start back up soon.

They experienced success last season, going 24-18 and 11-4 at home. Despite their success, they ended the season by losing five out of their remaining six games, not to mention they suffered a divisional round loss to TCNJ in the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament. Despite the downfall, they started the season 4-2 start, which is a positive sign. Despite being a rookie coach, mostly due to their record, manager Mike Dickson exceeded expectations.

Last season, sophomore infielder Evan Hughes had a tremendous season, leading the team with a .369 batting average and 29 runs batted in (according to Rowan’s athletic website). According to the same site, Mike Dickson is a Rowan alumnus, having graduated in 2002, and prior to last spring he spent his previous nine seasons coaching at Rowan at Gloucester County College.

His experience with the sport certainly could/may already have an impact on the team. According to D3 Baseball, Dickson played with the team from 1997 till 2000 and was given all-conference honors on three occasions. Dickson was also a team captain in his final two seasons with the team, from 1999 till 2000.

Over the past five seasons, Rowan is a combined 145-72, with a winning percentage of 66.8. Over the past four seasons, Rowan has won two New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament championships, from 2013 till 2014.

Impressively, the Profs’ baseball team hasn’t suffered a losing season since 1994. With the experience of Dickson as coach, and a strong lineup carrying over from last season, that streak shouldn’t end any time soon.

It should be an interesting year for the team.

The regular season starts on February 26th in Hoboken and their first home game will be on March 8th. The team’s full upcoming season schedule is listed below.

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME/RESULT DETAILS
2/26/2017 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ 2:30 p.m. Details
3/4/2017 Randolph-Macon College (DH) Ashland, VA noon Details
3/5/2017 Randolph-Macon College Ashland, VA noon Details
3/8/2017 Neumann University Glassboro, NJ 3:00 p.m. Details
3/10/2017 Wheaton College (MA) Chain of Lakes Park (Stadium), Winter Haven, FL 4:00 p.m. Details
3/11/2017 UMass Boston Lake Myrtle Park (Field 1), Auburndale, FL 6:00 p.m. Details
3/12/2017 Ripon College (DH) Lake Myrtle Park (Field 3), Auburndale, FL 2:45 p.m. Details
3/13/2017 Framingham State University Lake Myrtle Park (Field 7), Auburndale, FL 3:45 p.m. Details
3/15/2017 Salve Regina University Lake Myrtle Park (Main Field), Auburndale, FL 4:15 p.m. Details
3/16/2017 Centenary University Lake Myrtle Park (Field 8), Auburndale, FL 9:00 a.m. Details
3/17/2017 College of St. Scholastica (DH) Lake Myrtle Park (Field 5), Auburndale, FL 9:15 a.m. Details
3/18/2017 St. Norbert College Chain of Lakes Park (Stadium), Winter Haven, FL 9:30 a.m. Details
3/20/2017 SUNY New Paltz Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
3/21/2017 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD 3:30 p.m. Details
3/22/2017 Neumann University Aston, PA 3:30 p.m. Details
3/26/2017 York College (PA) York, PA 2:00 p.m. Details
3/28/2017 Haverford College Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/1/2017 * Ramapo College (DH) Glassboro, NJ 11:30 a.m. Details
4/4/2017 Penn State Abington Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/6/2017 * Stockton University Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/7/2017 * Stockton University Pomona, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/8/2017 * Montclair State University (DH) Montclair, NJ 11:30 a.m. Details
4/12/2017 Moravian College Glassboro, NJ 4:00 p.m. Details
4/13/2017 * Rutgers-Camden Camden, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/14/2017 * Rutgers-Camden Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/15/2017 * Rutgers-Newark (DH) Newark, NJ 11:30 a.m. Details
4/20/2017 * The College of New Jersey Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/21/2017 * The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/22/2017 * Kean University (DH) Glassboro, NJ 11:30 a.m. Details
4/27/2017 * New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/28/2017 * New Jersey City University Glassboro, NJ 3:30 p.m. Details
4/29/2017 * William Paterson University (DH) Wayne, NJ 11:30 a.m. Details