GLASSBORO, NJ (April 10, 2021)- Senior Alex Kokos surpassed 200 hits for his career, and Victor Cruz hit a grand slam, to lead #20 Rowan to a 14-11 win over Rutgers-Newark. Lefthander Donald Zellman pitched a complete game in a 9-1 win as the Profs swept the Scarlet Raiders in an NJAC baseball doubleheader.
Kokos entered the first game needing three hits to reach 200 and did that one better, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI in the first-game win.
Zellman threw a two-hitter and recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts while allowing just one run in the first complete game as a Prof.
The Profs were in charge from the start, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Rutgers-Newark scored one in the fourth, but Rowan countered with two more as Nick Schooley hit a two-run homer to score Cruz, who had reached on an error.
Aaron Alvarez homered for Rutgers in the sixth, but Rowan countered with one in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single from Ryan Murphy. The Profs then exploded for six runs in the seventh as Cruz cleared the bases with his first career grand slam, bringing in Jared Marks, Jason Bobiak and Michael Manganella. An RBI single from Kokos and a double from Murphy closed out the inning and gave the Profs a 14-2 lead.
Rutgers-Newark did not fold, however, and scored nine runs on four hits and three Rowan errors, to pull within, 14-11, but Rowan closer Zach Listro was able to earn the save with a ground out and strikeout.
Cruz finished the game with a career-high six RBI, while going 1-for-5 with three runs scored. Marks was 3-for-3 with three runs and starter Eli Atiya earned the victory, allowing just two runs and striking out 10.
The Profs again jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings before Rutgers-Newark countered with one in the fourth. Rowan then put together a four-run fourth, with RBI singles from Cruz, Schooley and Manganella, and another double from Kokos, which brought in Schooley.
Rowan added an insurance run in the eighth when Manganella hit a sacrifice fly to score pinch runner Tyler Kubrak, who had replaced Kokos after his fourth double of the day.
Zellman shut down the Scarlet Raiders the entire game and sealed up the complete game with a pair of strikeouts.
The Profs have now won six in a row and have a four-game homestand next week, with single games against Rutgers-Camden on Thursday and Friday, and a doubleheader vs. William Paterson on Saturday.