CAMDEN, N.J. (April 13, 2017) –Rutgers University-Camden took one of the better baseball teams in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, and the nation, into extra innings here Thursday, but Rowan University pulled out a 2-1 victory in 12 innings to continue the Scarlet Raptors' recent struggles.
Rutgers-Camden falls to 10-14 overall and 1-6 in the NJAC, extending its losing streak to six games overall and six in NJAC play. The Scarlet Raptors have gone 2-9 in their last 11 games.
Rowan, which received 20 votes this week in the ABCA Division III national poll and seven votes toward the D3baseball.com Top 25 poll, improves to 20-9 overall and 4-3 in the NJAC.
The Profs broke the tie in the marathon contest after senior outfielder Jason Clapper (Mount Laurel, NJ/Lenape) led off the 12th inning with a double down the left field line. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a double to left by freshman second baseman Alex Kokos (Wayne, NJ/Wayne Valley).
The run pinned the loss on Raptor junior reliever Carter Fichter (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield Memorial), who allowed only two hits and one walk in four strong innings of relief. Fichter (2-2) struck out six.
Sophomore Robbie Florich (Lithia, FL/Newsome) worked out of a tight jam in the final inning to keep the deficit at one run, and the Scarlet Raptors put the tying run on base with one out in the bottom of the 12th on a walk to senior rightfielder Zach Ellin (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee). The game ended on a strikeout/caught stealing double play.
The Scarlet Raptors' offensive struggles spoiled another fine start by sophomore ace Ian Scheidemann (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill), who worked seven innings and allowed seven hits. The only run off Scheidemann came on a solo home run by junior leftfielder Shawn Leydon (Roxbury, NJ/Roxbury) in the fourth inning.
Rutgers-Camden tied the game in the fifth off Rowan sophomore starter Eric Shugars (Shamong, NJ/Seneca). Junior centerfielder Brett Kuchera (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood) led off with an infield single and advanced on a ground out by Ellin. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch.
Shugars worked 7.1 innings of five-hit ball, allowing one walk and the one earned run. He struck out four.
Senior Brad Machinski (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West), the final hurler of three Rowan pitchers, picked up the win with four innings of one-hit shutout ball. He walked two and struck out one while raising his record to 4-1.
Clapper, Kokos and Leydon each had two hits for the Profs. Rutgers-Camden received two hits apiece from Ellin and senior leftfielder Doug Carter Jr. (Union, NJ/Union).
The Scarlet Raptors travel to Rowan on Friday for another 3:30 p.m. NJAC game. They host Ramapo College Saturday in an 11:30 a.m. NJAC doubleheader.