Wayne, NJ … The College of New Jersey baseball team continued its outstanding season, sweeping William Paterson University on the road on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions won by scores of 11-3 and 11-0 to raise their overall record to 18-4 and push their New Jersey Athletic Conference mark to 3-2. The Pioneers fell to 14-10 on the season and 3-2 in the NJAC.
Game 1: TCNJ 11 WPU 3
Senior Steven Volpe (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional) went seven strong innings to raise his record to 4-0 on the season. He had plenty of run support as the offense rapped out 14 hits and took advantage of four WPU errors. Every batter in the line-up has at least one hit and five players produced multiple hits.
The Lions got on the board quickly as senior John Rizzi (Long Hill, NJ/Watchung Hills) was hit by a pitch, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Sophomore Patrick Anderson (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central) grounded to short to plate Rizzi and TCNJ was on the board.
After the Pioneers tied it up in the second, the Lions responded with three in the third. Senior Garen Turner (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley), junior Alex Christian (Milltown, NJ/Spotswood), and C.J. Gearhart (Robbinsville, NJ/Robbinsville) all drove in runs. Christian highlighted the inning with a two-run single to left.
Volpe allowed just one Pioneer to reach base over the next three innings, and then the Lions offense erupted for five runs in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach. The strung together five hits including run-scoring singles by Rizzi, senior Patrick Roberts (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough), Turner, and Zach Shindler (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh).
WPU scored two runs in the seventh to make it a 9-3 game. But TCNJ came back with two in the ninth to seal the win. Volpe scattered eight hits, walked two, and struck out three. Senior Joe DiLorenzo (West Orange, NJ/Seton Hall Prep) pitched two scoreless innings in relief. He needed just 18 pitches to record the final six outs.
Anderson, Roberts, Turner, Christian, and Gearhart all had two hits in the opener.
Game 2: TCNJ 11 WPU 0
Sophomore Joe Cirillo (Fairfield, NJ/DePaul Catholic) and senior Eric Teesdale (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) combined to shut out WPU in an 11-0 win. Cirillo limited the Pioneers to four hits over seven innings and struck out three to improve to 5-1. Teesdale fanned three in two scoreless innings of work.
A seven-run third inning propelled TCNJ its fourth straight win. The Lions pounded out eight hits in the inning to quickly open a substantial lead. Sophomore Mike Follet (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) opened the inning with an infield single. Junior Ben Varone (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) and Rizzi followed with back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases with nobody out. Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice to score Follet and Roberts doubled to center to chase Rizzi.
Turner made it a 4-0 game with a two-run single to center. After Shindler joined the hit parade, Christian delivered a single up the middle to score Turner. With two out and runners on second and third, Follet came back up to bat singled to center to drive in Shindler and Christian.
Roberts, Turner, and Shindler each laced run-scoring singles in the sixth to extend the lead to 10-0. Freshman Ryan Fischer (Robbinsville, NJ/Robbinsville) added his first collegiate hit and RBI in the ninth to cap the scoring.
Rizzi and Roberts both had three hits in the game. Turner was 2-for-5 with three runs batted in and Follet was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
The Lions will play another conference game tomorrow, visiting Stockton University for make-up scheduled to start at 3 p.m.