The Ramapo baseball team is looking to get back to the NCAA Division III World Series, after winning the 2015 NCAA New England Regional Tournament and going to the Division III College World Series.
Last season, the Roadrunners finished with an impressive record of 33-16. Head coach Rich Martin will be entering his 16th season at the helm, and the Roadrunners are expected to finish fourth in the NJAC, according to preseason polls of league head coaches.
Senior Scott Paulus feels confident that the Roadrunners will be in some thrilling ballgames this year. He believes he will be biting his nails all the way to the NCAA Division III World Series.
“We have a lot of young pitching this year, so if they can keep us in some ballgames, throw some strikes, we’re going to field behind them and we’re going to hit this year,” said Paulus
The Roadrunners are returning with an outstanding all-around baseball player in senior second baseman Joe Venturino, who hit .410 with five home runs and 41 RBIs last year.
Venturino took home many postseason honors last season, like NJAC All-Conference First Team, D3Baseball.com First Team All-American, NJCBA Division II/III Player of the Year, ECAC All-Star First Team and D3Baseball.com College World Series All-Tournament Team.
Senior Jared Ensmenger felt that NJAC competition will be especially intense this year.
“We always have our rivals Camden, Rowan and Kean,” said Ensmenger. “They hate us. We hate them. There’s no love lost there. Last year we almost got into it with Rowan – it’s always a loud, chirpy game with the fans, their parents, our fans. It’s the competition that we love, and it’s going to be a dogfight every weekend.”
Venturino wants to keep a consistent approach at the plate in order to sustain the success that he’s been having.
“Now there’s more attention on me than there was last year because, if there’s an All-American, most teams know them, so they’re going to pitch around me more. I’m aware that I’m ready for whatever they got throwing at me. I feel pretty good at the plate, no matter who’s pitching, doesn’t really matter – same approach, I’ll be fine.”
The Roadrunners will start their season on Saturday in Washington, D.C. when they face Catholic University in a doubleheader.