The Roadrunners kicked off the season on a high note as they traveled to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington, D.C. for a season-opening doubleheader against Catholic University. They grabbed the win in game one 4-3 and game two 6-1.
Ramapo’s 16-year head coach Rich Martin believed that it was a very pleasant feeling to get the first two wins of the 2016 season out of the way.
“Well, actually it feels great; being on the road, not being the home team for two games, and the travels playing very largely into the games, having a brand new team as we have, 17 new players. It was great, it was a great feeling, and we had a great bus ride home,” said Martin.
The Catholic University Cardinals got on the board early with three first inning runs on a three-run-homer by sophomore Jake Crist, which drove in seniors Stefan Poggoli and John Palladino. For the Roadrunners, sophomore Brian Cottrell surrendered three runs in the inning and two of them were earned, but he settled down after that and kept the Roadrunners in the game.
The Roadrunners did not panic as they stormed back to tie the game at three in the top of the fifth inning. Senior Scott Paulus was able to reach base via a leadoff walk to set the stage for a three-run rally. Then, sophomore Ryan MacNaughton reached base on a big error that changed the outcome of the game since it opened up a scoring opportunity for senior Ryan Rinsky, who cashed in with an RBI double.
Junior Rob DeAngelis then hit a game-tying RBI double, driving in MacNaughton and Rinsky, thus making the score 3-3.
DeAngelis wanted to look for a pitch that he could lift the ball into the air with in his at bat in the fifth inning of game one.
“I wanted to get something in the air to get him in and I got a good enough pitch to hit, and I pulled it and thankfully it was a double as well,” said DeAngelis.
In the top of the sixth inning, sophomore Austin Unglaub pinch ran for Joe Crabbe and scored the winning run on a passed ball.
Juniors John Doherty and Tyler Curto pitched scoreless innings of relief to seal the 4-3 victory. Cottrell went 5.1 innings allowing three runs, two earned, one walk and seven strikeouts in the win.
In game two, the Cardinals got on the board in the bottom of the first inning again when Palladino smacked a solo home run off senior pitcher Mike Campbell.
However, Campbell did not dwell on the home run ball as he settled down and kept the score at 1-0. The score would remain at 1-0 until the top of the sixth inning when the Roadrunners had a six-run outburst to take a 6-1 lead.
Walsh scored the go-ahead run when junior Brandon Martinez singled to center before Unglaub extended the lead with a single to right, driving in Crabbe. Two at bats later, sophomore Bobby Shannon hit a two-run single to left scoring Unglaub and Martinez.
Then, Rinsky scored the final run of the half-inning on a wild pitch.
Freshman Kyle Haag and sophomore Jerry D’Andrea pitched scoreless innings of relief to seal the win and the doubleheader. Campbell got the win as he pitched five strong innings allowing one run on four hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.
Shannon called Campbell’s performance in game two one of the best performances that he’s ever seen.
The Roadrunners will return to action against Coe College in a doubleheader on March 11 in Auburndale, Florida.