Shortly after watching a five-run lead disappear in a 6-5 loss to The College at Brockport, the Scarlet Raptors bounced back to beat a highly-ranked Washington University of St. Louis team, 5-4.
Rutgers-Camden (2-3) returns to action Monday with a 9:30 a.m. game in Auburndale. The Scarlet Raptors face Oswego State (Oswego, N.Y.), which is ranked No. 17 in the latest D3baseball.com Top 25 poll.
Brockport 6, Rutgers-Camden 5
After handing the Scarlet Raptors five unearned runs over the first three innings, and being shut down by Raptor sophomore righty Ian Scheidemann (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) for six innings, the Golden Eagles had back-to-back three-run innings in the seventh and eighth innings to pull out the win.
Brockport (5-3) used a leadoff double and a walk to chase Scheidemann in the seventh inning before the Golden Eagles collected back-to-back doubles off sophomore reliever Steven Bloyed (North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick) to cut the gap to 5-3.
In the eighth inning, a leadoff error gave Brockport a life. After two ground outs helped cut the gap to 5-4, the Golden Eagles collected a pair of singles. Sophomore centerfielder Dana Cala (Derby, NY/Lake Shore) followed with a two-run triple to right field, giving Brockport its eventual winning margin.
Rutgers-Camden put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with one out in the ninth on a single by sophomore second baseman Chris Jones (Washington Township, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) and senior leftfielder Doug Carter Jr. (Union, NJ/Union) but Brockport senior closer Nick Jerolimov (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa) nailed down his third save with two strikeouts.
Camden had taken a 5-0 lead through three innings as the Golden Eagles committed five errors in that span, leading to five unearned runs. The Raptors’ lone hit in that span came on a third-inning RBI single by senior catcher Jon Theckston (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester Catholic).
Jones went 3-for-4 with one run scored for the Scarlet Raptors.
Rutgers-Camden 5, Washington 4
Facing a team that was ranked 17th in the pre-season D3baseball.com poll and entered the game effectively ranked 26th in the country as the top club in the “Receiving Votes” category, the Scarlet Raptors rolled up a 4-1 lead before the Bears tied the game in the top of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the eighth, however, a pair of hits and an errant pickoff throw by the Washington pitcher helped the Scarlet Raptors plate the winning run.
The Raptors’ winning rally started with a single by senior rightfielder Zach Ellin (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee), who advanced on the throwing error on the pickoff attempt. He went to third on a grounder to the right side by freshman third baseman Tyler Travis (Berlin, NJ/Eastern Regional) and scored the tie-breaking run on a single by junior leftfielder Brett Kuchera (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood).
Rutgers-Camden took a 3-0 lead on six hits in the bottom of the fourth inning, sparked by a one-out single from freshman third baseman Matthew Stoots (Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton). Freshman Alfonso Duran (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) ran for Stoots and Kuchera followed with a single. A base hit by senior designated hitter Brandon Cornelius (Sicklerville, NJ /Timber Creek) plated Duran with the game’s first run and both runners advanced on a throw to the plate. Senior first baseman Frank Cerami IV (Lumberton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) followed with a two-run single.
Both teams scored a run in the fifth inning, with Ellin singling home the Scarlet Raptors’ tally after a double by Jones.
After winning four of their previous five games, including two straight to hike their record to 5-3 entering the contest, the Bears weren’t about to go quietly. Shut down for six innings by Raptor senior righty Zach Welsher (Audubon, NJ/Audubon), they saw a window of opportunity open in the seventh inning on a leadoff error. One out later, the Bears ripped four straight singles, including a two-run hit by senior designated hitter Christian Santos (Foster City, CA/St. Ignatius College Prep). A run-scoring single by freshman third baseman John Brinkman (Worden, IL/St. Louis University High School) tied the game and brought in Scarlet Raptor junior Carter Fichter (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield Memorial) in relief of Welsher.
Fichter worked out of the jam with a called strikeout and a comebacker to the mound, and then allowed only one walk the rest of the way. He earned his first decision of the year when the Raptors plated the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. He struck out six in 2.2 innings, including the side in order in the ninth.
The Scarlet Raptors finished with 15 hits, including two apiece by Jones, Ellin, Kuchera, Cornelius, Cerami and sophomore centerfielder Peter Farlow (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester Catholic). Cerami had two RBIs.