HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Virginia (February 24, 2013) – Freshman shortstop Joe Sigismondi (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) doubled home senior pinch-runner Nicco Esgro (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) in the bottom of the eighth inning, moments after SUNY-New Paltz had tied the game, to give the Rutgers University-Camden baseball team a 4-3 victory here Sunday at the Ty Cobb Classic.
The Scarlet Raptors raised their record to 2-1 at the three-day season-opening event, which was held at Hampden-Sydney College.
Rutgers-Camden won behind the stellar pitching of junior Paul Walters (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester) and freshman John Waters (Galloway, NJ/Absegami), who combined on a three-hitter. Walters worked 6-1/3 innings, allowing three hits and three walks. He struck out two and allowed two runs, one of them unearned.
Waters earned the win in his first collegiate outing, working 2-2/3 innings of no-hit ball, walking two, striking out three and allowing one unearned run.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 3-3 tie, Rutgers-Camden senior catcher Shaune Collins (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) drew a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Esgro. Esgro stole second and scored on Sigismondi’s double.
Waters nailed down his first win with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, getting the final out on a called third strike.
After New Paltz scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning, aided by a pair of errors, the Scarlet Raptors answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Although senior centerfielder Albert Rivera (Matawan, NJ/Matawan Regional) was caught stealing after a leadoff single, his former high school teammate, senior leftfielder Bruce Monro (Matawan, NJ/Matawan Regional) got the inning back on track with a single. Monro scored on a double by junior rightfielder Adrian Gonzalez (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken), who scored when senior first baseman Dave Prager (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) reached on an error. Senior third baseman John Santilli (Folsom, NJ/St. Joseph-Hammonton) capped the frame with a RBI double.
The Hawks cut the gap to 3-2 with a run in the third. Senior centerfielder Matt Carr (Westbury, NJ/Long Island Lutheran) walked, advanced on a ground out, stole third and scored on a ground out by senior first baseman Thomas Pinnola (North Babylon, NY/North Babylon).
New Paltz threatened again in the seventh inning when a one-out error and a walk put men on first and second and ende
The Hawks tied the game with an unearned run in the eighth inning. After Waters got the first two batters on called third strikes, senior third baseman Matt Prescia (Oakdale, NY/Connetquot) drew a walk. He scored all the way from first when junior shortstop Steven Morse (East Northport, NY/Commack) reached on a throwing error by the Raptor pitcher.
Monro and Gonzalez both went 2-for-4 and scored a run to pace the Scarlet Raptors’ eight-hit attack. Gonzalez also had one RBI and a stolen base. Sigismondi, who went 1-for-3 with the game-winning RBI, added six assists at shortstop.
Carr drew two walks and scored two of the three runs for SUNY-New Paltz, which falls to 1-2.
Rutgers-Camden returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. when it hosts Oswego State in a doubleheader.