5/9/2015 4:04:00 PM
CAMDEN, N.J. (May 9, 2015) – Sophomore left fielder Joe Brooks (Blackwood, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) led a 17-hit attack by going 5-for-5 as the Rutgers University-Camden baseball team closed its regular season with a 12-5 victory over York (PA) College here Saturday afternoon.
The victory, their second in three days over York, lifts the Scarlet Raptors' record to 27-17. Rutgers-Camden will now play a waiting game to see if it is selected late Sunday night for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.
(photo: Joe Brooks 5-5)
York, which dropped a 9-6 decision against Rutgers-Camden on its own field Thursday, closes its season at 14-23.
Rutgers-Camden didn't waste any time taking the lead for good against Spartans senior righty Andrew Tucci (Birdboro, PA/Daniel Boone), the first of four York pitchers. In the bottom of the first inning, junior third baseman Brett Tenuto (Audubon, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) drew a leadoff walk. He advanced to second on a single by sophomore catcher Jon Theckston (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) before Brooks loaded the bases with the first of his two bunt singles on the day.
A walk to senior center fielder Bobby Romano (Vineland, NJ/Vineland) forced home the first run of the game and senior designated hitter Adam Bartholomew (Haddon Heights, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) followed with a two-run double to left center. Sophomore shortstop Pedro Perez (Burlington, NJ/Burlington City) added a sacrifice fly to center, the first of his two sac flies in the game to tie a single-game program mark held by many. The last person to accomplish that feat was Bartholomew against Kean University on April 25.
Theckston and Brooks both singled to open the second inning. They rode home on Romano's triple down the left field line. It was the ninth triple of the season for Romano, the second-highest total in program history and only two shy of the 2002 club mark set by Brian Murphy.
Romano's triple chased Tucci (5-2) after one-plus inning and moments later reliever Matt Goodman (Owings Mills, MD/Franklin) uncorked a wild pitch to score Romano. Tucci ended up allowing eight hits, two walks and eight earned runs in his short stint.
While the Scarlet Raptor offense was lighting up the scoreboard, junior Billy Jackson (Estell Manor, NJ/Buena) worked six innings of six-hit ball to raise his record to 6-1. He walked one, struck out three and allowed three runs, only two of them earned.
The Raptors tacked on two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Junior second baseman Matthew McElhatton (Haddon Heights, NJ/Camden Catholic) had a RBI single and scored on a double by Tenuto in the fifth. In the sixth, the Raptors had three hits, including a RBI triple by Bartholomew, and a sacrifice fly by Perez.
Brooks' five-hit day gave him 62 hits for the season and made him the first player in program history to have a pair of 60-hit seasons. He had 67 during his stellar rookie year in 2014. The five hits were one shy of the single-game program record, shared by both Jerry McCullough (April 16, 1959) and Jon Hydock (March 17, 2011). The last person with a five-hit game was Adrian Gonzalez against Castleton State in the NCAA tournament on May 15, 2014.
Brooks, who also scored three runs on the day, raised his team-leading batting average from .348 to .367 with his five hits.
Junior first baseman Joe Sigismondi (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) went 3-for-5 for the Scarlet Raptors, while Theckston and Bartholomew both added two hits, with Theckston scoring two runs. Bartholomew and Romano both had three RBIs and two runs scored, while Perez added two RBIs.
York's 10-hit attack was led by senior left fielder Brad Wenzel (Blandon, PA/Fleetwood Area), who went 3-for-4 with one walk.