Baseball Team Wins 7 Out of 10 Games Over Break

Students at Ramapo College took time this week to relax and enjoy a week off from classes. However, the Ramapo baseball team was hard at work, playing in the Russ Matt Tournament in Winter Haven, Fla.

The Roadrunners had a strong showing in the tournament, winning seven out of ten games in a span of eight days.

“It’s always a great thing for us to be able to go down to Florida and prepare for the season,” said head coach Rich Martin. “We actually had six games snowed out. It was vital that we go down there and play baseball everyday and get into it so to speak.”

After a 4-2 loss in their opening game against the Gallaudet University Bison on March 15, the Roadrunners battled back to win both games in a double header against Ripon College the next day, 6-5 and 7-4.

On March 18, the Roadrunners defeated the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Corsairs 8-6. The next day, Eastern Connecticut State defeated the Roadrunners 4-2.

However, the Ramapo bounced back and won its next two games in the tournament defeating the Denison University Big Red 5-3 and Endicott College 7-5 on March 19 and 20 respectively.

On March 21, the Roadrunners played a double header against Allegheny College. Despite getting shut out in the first game 3-0, Ramapo fought for a win in the second game and earned a narrow 3-2 victory.

The Roadrunners finished off the tournament on Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 victory against Benedictine University that went into extra innings.

The game was tied at 2-2 at the top of the 11 inning, but the Roadrunners were able to score twice and take a 4-2 lead as senior Jose Garcia hit a double to left field to bring freshman Kyle Skoog and sophomore Scott Paulus to home plate.

Benedictine junior Brandon Villanueva was able to score once in the bottom of the 11th, but the Roadrunners ended the game as Ramapo junior Walker Larson struck out Benedictine junior Mike Ostrowski to give the Roadrunners their seventh win in ten games.

“We had some really big plays in that game from the pitching staff and from our hitters,” Martin said. “I think it was awesome and left us with a great taste in our mouth coming and made us excited to start playing again.”

The Roadrunners have improved their overall record to 8-3 with their performance in Florida.

Ramapo was limited to just one game prior to the Spring break tournament because of snow, making these games not only a test for a team that has not played together much this season, but also prepared them for their upcoming schedule.

The Roadrunners will play one more game on Thursday against Lehman College before begging play against New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents.

Rowan University, who is ranked eigth in NCAA Division III baseball nationally, will come to Ramapo on Saturday for a double header as both teams begin their NJAC schedules.

Rowan also played in the Russ Matt tournament, although the Roadrunners and the Owls did not play each other in Florida. Rowan went 6-2 in Florida and is 10-3 overall.

“We’re going to expect to see their two top pitchers,” Martin said. “It’s going to be a real struggle against a quality opponent. Hopefully we’re ready to get into the NJAC and start to make some noise .”