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

 

A recap of the Profs-Ospreys game

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Rowan’s Alex Kokos (Photo/Rowan Athletics)

So far this season it’s been a success for the Profs.

The Profs are winners of 18 games, with an impressive 18-9 win-loss record, and they’ve won five out of their past six games. One of their more impressive wins recently was their shutout blowout victory at home versus Haverford College, who has a winning record so far this season. Most recently, yesterday afternoon (at 1 o’clock) Rowan beat 11-11 Stockton, known as the Ospreys, for a final score of 9-8.

Up until yesterday’s loss at Rowan, Stockton had won two out of their previous three games, with more runs scored than allowed in that span (25-20). Luckily for both teams yesterday, the weather couldn’t of been more perfect, especially for baseball weather. At Rowan’s baseball field, the temperature was listed as sunny, and it was around the mid ’70s.

Luckily they have another home game coming on Wednesday afternoon (at four o’clock) before they head off to face Rutgers at Camden later in the week. This season at home, Rowan is 6-1, having won nine out of their past 10 home games overall leading from last season till now. At Glassboro for Wednesday afternoon’s game, the approximate temperature is listed as 73 degrees.

As for yesterday’s game against Stockton, despite allowing eight total runs, Rowan’s pitchers Brad Machinski and Rob Grilli, who I interviewed last month, were excellent in maintaining Stockton hitters on base (10 Stockton hitters were left on base, out of a total number of 40 at-bats). Grilli was fairly solid in relief of Machinski, especially with, at times, fastballs high and down out of the strike zone, striking out six batters out of a total of nine batters that he faced.

Despite Grilli’s solid breaking pitch working all afternoon, his fastball was out of control, both in a good and bad way. While the pitch seemed to push hitters back, especially for left-handed hitters, it also was his Achilles Heal  And he got off to a rocky start, too. To start the top of the seventh, his first three batters all reached base- a hit-by-pitch and two singles.

Although Grilli thankfully didn’t throw any pitches behind catcher Steven Hewa, he got behind on counts, was forced to adjust his command, since he also hit a batter (he hit right fielder JJ Swentkowski at the top of the seventh inning). To Swentkowski, Grilli got behind in the count 3-1, as he was going with two fastballs that were thrown at the top right of the strike zone, then a low breaking ball, prior to hitting him.

On the day, Swentkowski was the fifth Stockton player to have multiple hits. Their three through five hitters went a combined 6/13, with eight total bases, five runs, and only two strikeouts. For the game, Swentkowski went 2/4, with a runner left on base (at the top of the fourth, after flying out to right fielder Michael Decker, he left second baseman Mike Desenzo stranded on second base).

Despite taking advantage of Rowan starting pitcher Brad Machinski’s inability to overpower Stockton’s lineup (in counts that had two strikes or fewer, Stockton’s lineup reached based on 11 occasions), on the flip side, Stockton’s starting pitcher Adam Warburton was equally inefficient. In just five innings as the starter, Warburton had 108 total pitches, and allowed six earned runs.

In the second inning alone, Warburton had 40 pitches (23-17). While he wasn’t as wild as Grilli, he was unable to work the corners of the strike zone, and Rowan’s batters took advantage of Warburton’s fastballs down the middle. The third and fifth innings were the best for him, Rowan hitters went a combined 2-11, with three runners (by way of a walk and two singles) left on base.

At the top of the lineup, Rowan’s first four batters hit a combined 7/18 (.388), with eight RBIs, nine total bases, and four runs. Leadoff hitter, second baseman, Alex Kokos (see picture above) statistically had the best game out of all 10 total batters, as he went 2/4, with four RBIs. At the bottom of the second, where Rowan ended up scoring six runs, Kokos doubled to deep left with the bases load, giving Rowan their first lead of the game (3-2).

With the win, Kokos broke a huge slump, as the previous three games he was only 1/11, with zero runs, which is a scary stat for a leadoff hitter (who normally compiles the most runs on their team). For the season, he’s now hitting .264.

For the season, despite allowing Stockton hitters yesterday to hit .400 (16/40), Rowan pitchers (starting pitchers plus relievers) are allowing opposing batters to hit just .231, while Rowan’s team batting average stands at .294.

Come-from-behind victories may be a positive, given the rally to come back, and the team effort and support. The team got off to a hot start, then finished strong, which I assume is what most coaches, like skipper Mike Dickson, would enjoy (not just having a w in the win-loss column but a team win).