3/17/2017 9:29:00 PM
Second baseman Chris Jones, making a play defensively near shortstop Nolan Gerold, raised his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games
AUBURNDALE, Fla. (March 17, 2017) – The Rutgers University-Camden baseball team took a tour through two of the top collegiate teams in the Eastern Massachusetts area on their trip to the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational here Friday, and the Scarlet Raptors' offense found the trip to its liking.
Rutgers-Camden hit .421 as a team (32-for-76), ripping 10 doubles along the way, as it romped past a pair of teams that have received national attention this season. In its first game, Rutgers-Camden defeated Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.), 12-7, behind a 17-hit attack. The Lyons had received six votes toward the D3baseball.com Top 25 preseason poll.
The Scarlet Raptors fared even better against Suffolk University (Boston, Mass.), which is ranked No. 24 in the D3baseball.com poll this week and received 48 votes toward the ABCA poll. In that game, the Scarlet Raptors scored all of their runs over the first five innings, collecting 15 hits in all, as they rolled to a 14-5 victory over the Rams.
On the day, junior outfielder Brett Kuchera (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood) led the hitting attack by going 5-for-6 (.833) with five runs, two doubles and three RBIs in his two games. Senior catcher Jon Theckston (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) and senior rightfielder Zach Ellin (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) hit .800 (4-for-5) and .600 (3-for-5), respectively, while playing in one game apiece. Freshman shortstop Nolan Gerold (Merchantville, NJ/Camden Catholic) went 4-for-7 (.571) in his two games, while both freshman third baseman Matthew Stoots (Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton) and senior designated hitter Doug Carter Jr. (Union, NJ/Union) hit .500 (4-for-8 and 3-for-6, respectively. Senior leftfielder Brandon Cornelius (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) played in one game, going 2-for-4 (.500). Sophomore second baseman Chris Jones (Washington Township, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) and senior first baseman Frank Cerami IV (Lumberton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) both added three hits over their two games. Jones, who had one hit in the opener and two in the nightcap, has now hit in all 11 games to open the season for the 7-4 Scarlet Raptors.
The Raptors end their trip in Winter Haven, Florida, Saturday against Wisconsin-Whitewater at 12:30 p.m. The Warhawks are ranked No 6 and 7 nationally by the D3baseball.com and ABCA polls, respectively.
Rutgers-Camden 12, Wheaton 7
Rutgers-Camden ripped 17 hits and scored in each of the first four innings to take an 8-3 lead, on the way to its victory. With the scored tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the second inning, the Raptors plated two runs to take the lead for good, aided by an RBI double from Theckston and a run-scoring single by Jones.
Rutgers-Camden grabbed a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run double by Kuchera and a run-scoring double by Cornelius. Wheaton (4-4) tied the game in the top of the second with three runs on four hits.
After regaining the lead in the bottom of the second, the Raptors kept on scoring. A two-run third was highlighted by a two-RBI double from Gerold. A Cornelius single plated a fourth-inning run, making it an 8-3 game.
Wheaton cut the gap to 8-6 with three runs over the fifth and sixth innings, but Rutgers-Camden struck for three runs in the bottom of the seventh on three hits, including an RBI single by Theckston. Jones added a sacrifice fly in the frame. Stoots singled home the Raptors' final run in the eighth inning.
Theckston and Kuchera both had identical offensive numbers, going 4-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs in the game. Gerold went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Cornelius and Stoots both added two hits. Cornelius had two RBIs and Stoots had one.
Sophomore Ian Scheidemann (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) worked the first 4.1 innings for the Scarlet Raptors, allowing nine hits, five runs (three earned) and two walks. He struck out three.
Junior Carter Fichter (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield Memorial) worked the final 4.2 innings to earn the victory, raising his record to 2-0. He allowed four hits, one walk and two runs, only one earned. He struck out four.
Rutgers-Camden 14, Suffolk 5
The Scarlet Raptors kept their bats blazing in the nightcap as they rolled up 14 hits and 14 runs in the first five innings. They led, 14-0, before the Rams scored one run in the sixth and four in the seventh for the final margin.
Senior Zach Welsher (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) earned his first decision of the year, working 6.2 innings and allowing six hits, five runs (three earned) and one walk. He struck out 10 Suffolk batters. Junior Peter Han (Millburn, NJ/Millburn) worked the final 2.1 shutout innings, allowing only three hits. He struck out one.
Offensively, the Scarlet Raptors loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning on a single by Ellin, a walk to Carter and Kuchera being hit by a pitch. A wild pitch scored the first run and Stoots singled home another one. Cerami capped the four-run first inning with a two-run double down the left field line.
The Raptors added three more runs in the second inning on an RBI double by Jones, an RBI single by Carter and a run-scoring wild pitch.
In the four-run third inning, the big hit was a two-run double by Jones. Ellin single home the Raptors' lone fourth-inning run and Rutgers-Camden plated two in the fifth on a RBI single by Cerami and a sacrifice fly by Gerold.
For the game, Ellin and Cerami had three hits apiece, while Jones, Carter and Stoots each added two. Jones and Cerami had three RBIs apiece and Ellin notched two.