Glassboro, NJ … Six runs batted in from the seven, eight, and nine hitters along with another sterling performance by right-hander Brandon Zachary (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) led The College of New Jersey to a 10-1 victory over Rowan University on Thursday afternoon.
The Lions captured their sixth straight win and moved to 20-4 on the season. TCNJ is now 5-2 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference and in second place in the league standings. The Profs dropped to 14-11 and 3-2 in conference play.
Junior CJ Gearhart (Robbinsville, NJ/Robbinsville), sophomore Mike Follet (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee), and junior Ben Varone (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) each drove in a pair of runs. Sophomore Zachary Shindler (Wantagh, NY/Wantagh) went 3-for-4 and scored three runs, while Alex Christian (Milltown, NJ/Spotswood) singled and also crossed home plate three times.
Rowan used three base hits in the bottom of the first to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Rowan starting pitcher Steve Priolo is in sync early on, retiring the first nine batters he face. Senior John Rizzi (Long Hill, NJ/Watchung Hills) was the first Lions’ runner to reach base in the fourth, drawing a walk before swiping second base. Patrick Anderson (Long Valley, NJ/West Morris Central) was also issued a free pass to put two runners on. Senior Patrick Roberts (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) tied the game, driving in his 32nd run of the season with a single to right field. Senior Garen Turner (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley) walked and Shindler lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Anderson and put TCNJ ahead 2-1. An infield error and single by Follet stretched the lead to 4-1.
In the sixth, Shindler used his bat and legs to make it 5-1. He double to right-center, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and raced home on another ball to the backstop. Shindler is now hitting .442 this season with 42 hits, eight doubles, and four triples.
TCNJ continued to build, tallying three more runs in the eighth. Varone had the big blow with a two-run double to score Gearhart and Christian. In the ninth, ripped a double to right to chase Shindler and Christian.
Zachary was in command from start to finish. He limited the Profs to just five hits and walked three to register his first career complete game. Zachary produced 14 ground ball outs and struck out five to raise his mound record to 5-0. The defense was flawless as they posted their fourth errorless game in the last six starts. During its six-game winning streak, TCNJ has committed just two errors.
The Lions host the back-end of the home and home series, taking on the Profs in George Ackerman Park tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.