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).