CAMDEN CITY, N.J. (Feb. 23, 2020) – Big innings were the deciding factors here Sunday as the Rutgers University-Camden baseball team opened its season by splitting a doubleheader at Immaculata University.
The Mighty Macs scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning in the opening game as they broke open a tie contest and posted an 11-4 victory, evening their record at 1-1. In the nightcap, Rutgers-Camden exploded for a program-record 12 runs in the top of the fifth inning on its way to a 20-3 victory. The second game was called by darkness after seven innings.
Immaculata 11, Rutgers-Camden 4 (Game 1)
The Mighty Macs broke open a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning when they exploded for seven runs on seven hits, two errors and one walk. Immaculata opened the inning with a pair of hits and junior designated hitter Trevor Wagner broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to center field. Later in the frame, junior first baseman Richard Fontanillas delivered a two-run double. Two more runs scored on an infield single and an error.
The game was tight most of the way, with the Raptors scoring in the first inning on a RBI triple by junior left fielder R.J. Concepcion. The Mighty Macs answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the frame off Rutgers-Camden senior starter Bobby Girgenti.
Sophomore designated hitter Brett Yurgin hit a solo home run to left field in the third inning to give the Raptors a 2-1 lead, but Immaculata plated two unearned runs in the fourth inning. Rutgers-Camden grabbed the lead back with two runs in the top of the seventh, tying the game at 3-3 on a sacrifice fly by junior right fielder Rob Scanlan and taking a 4-3 lead on a RBI double by junior center fielder Billy Eisler.
Immaculata tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI double by senior second baseman Stephen Trendler before breaking it open in the eighth.
Freshman catcher Josh Crowding went 3-for-5 to pace Immaculata’s 15-hit attack. Wagner, sophomore left fielder Corey Pezak and freshman third baseman Joey Wright all went 2-for-4 for the Mighty Macs.
Rutgers-Camden collected only four hits off a pair of Immaculata hurlers, with Yurgin going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
Girgenti worked four innings without a decision, allowing six hits, no walks and three unearned runs, while striking out five. Sophomore Colin Carr took the loss in 3-2/3 innings of relief. Immaculata junior Gabe Hollenbach earned the win with 2-1/3 hitless, shutout innings in relief of starter Billy Manzo.
Rutgers-Camden 20, Immaculata 3 (Game 2)
The Scarlet Raptors already had opened up a 6-2 lead through four innings before they set program history with a 12-run fifth inning. Rutgers-Camden sent 18 men to the plate, collected seven hits, three walks and one hit batsman, while taking advantage of four Immaculata errors. All 12 runs were unearned.
The Raptors’ 12-run frame passed the previous program record of 11 runs, accomplished three times. The most recent came in a 24-3 win over Penn State-Brandywine on April 22, 2014, when the Scarlet Raptors produced 11 runs in the seventh inning.
Eisler had the biggest inning for the Scarlet Raptors, collecting a double, a bases-clearing triple and scoring twice. Yurgin added an intentional walk and a single in the frame, while senior third baseman Matt Yanick was hit by a pitch and later added an RBI single. Freshman shortstop Danny Vazquez, making his first collegiate start, added a single, a walk, two runs and one RBI in the inning, while senior second baseman John Guccione had a two-run single.
The 20 runs scored by the Scarlet Raptors were the most since they lost a 22-20 game against the defending national champion, SUNY-Cortland, on March 13, 2016.
Concepcion and Yanick put the Raptors ahead to stay in the first inning with back-to-back RBI singles. Rutgers-Camden added a pair of unearned runs in the second inning, the last one scoring on a RBI single by Yurgin. After Immaculata scored twice in the third, the Scarlet Raptors countered with a two-run fourth on a two-run RBI single by Yanick.
Yanick and Vazquez led the Scarlet Raptors’ 20-hit attack with four hits apiece, while Yurgin and Eisler both added three. Concepcion and Guccione both had two hits. Eisler and Yanick had four RBIs apiece.
Yanick’s four hits pushed his career total to 98 as he bids to become the next Scarlet Raptor to reach the 100-hit milestone. Concepcion, with three hits in the doubleheader, now has 90 career hits.
Yurgin went 5-for-8 in the doubleheader.
While the Raptor offense was exploding, four Rutgers-Camden pitchers combined to limit Immaculata to eight hits and only two earned runs. Senior Mike Calabrese earned the win, working the first four innings of five-hit ball. He walked four, struck out six and allowed two earned runs. Three hurlers followed with one inning apiece without an earned run, as sophomore Stephen Brady (one unearned run), senior Keith Jacobs and freshman Dylan Wichrowski allowed only one hit apiece during their stints. Brady collected all three of his outs by strikeouts.