Winter Haven, Fla … The College of New Jersey baseball team showcased its depth of talent as they swept a pair of low-scoring games from Westfield State University on Friday afternoon.
Great pitching was the key for the Lions as they blanked the Owls 4-0 in the opener and then posted a 6-2 victory in the nightcap. TCNJ won its fourth and fifth straight match-ups to move to 9-1 on the season, while Westfield fell to 4-6 overall.
Senior Eric Teesdale (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) fired a complete game shutout in the opener, and freshman Michael Fischer (Trenton, NJ/Robbinsville) also went the distance to complete the sweep of the Owls.
Game 1: TCNJ 4 Westfield State 0
The Lions pushed two runners across in the second and third innings to produce enough offense for Teesdale. In the second, they took advantage of two miscues by the Owl infield to plate a pair of runners. Senior Matt Facas (Florham Park, NJ/Hanover Park) and sophomore Mike Follet (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) drove in runs to give TCNJ a 2-0 lead.
In the third, senior John Rizzi (Long Hill, NJ/Watchung Hills) doubled to left and raced home when Patrick Anderson (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central) singled up the middle. Senior Patrick Roberts (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) drew a free pass and Garen Turner (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley) laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Sophomore Zach Shindler (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh) chased home Anderson with a fielder’s choice and the Lions were up 4-0.
Teesdale allowed singles in the first, second, and third innings. But the defense registered a double play in each of those innings to stifle any chance of a Westfield rally. Teesdale allowed just one runner to reach third base in the game and he was cut down at the plate attempting to score. On a double to center field, Rizzi hit Shindler who fired to the plate to get the runner and keep the shutout intact.
In the seventh, Teesdale retired the side in order, punctuating the win with a strikeout to end the game.
Game 2: TCNJ 6 Westfield State 2
Fischer took the mound for the Lions in the second game and notched his second win of the season. He limited Westfield to just three hits and one earned run. Fischer worked out of some jams through the first five innings, but pitched a spotless sixth and seventh to chalk up his second straight complete game.
Roberts landed the big blow of the game for TCNJ. Leading just 2-1 in the fifth, Roberts launched a two-run bomb over the right field fence to give Fischer some breathing room.
The Owls responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning to cut it to 4-2. But in the seventh, Turner ripped a double down the left-field line that scored Roberts and sophomore Ryan Fearon (Cedar Grove, NJ/Cedar Grove). That sealed the victory and extended the Lions winning streak to five games.
Roberts and junior C.J. Gearhart (Robbinsville, NJ/Robbinsville) finished with two hits in the game. Fearon and Roberts both scored twice.
TCNJ will cap its Florida trip with a game against Salve Regina University tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.