Baseball takes on NJAC sitting at 22-12

The Roadrunners went 2-3 over the past week, falling twice to Kean University, splitting a doubleheader against Rutgers-Camden University on Saturday and topping Maritime College Tuesday afternoon. Ramapo now sits at 22-12 overall and their 9-5 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) record places them third.

Beginning with their home-away-from-home series against Kean, the Roadrunners fell 5-1 in Union on Thursday and lost 5-2 at home on Friday afternoon. In the first game, junior Dominick Ciani tossed five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and recorded one strikeout. For Kean, starter Rob Salvatore hurled a complete game, allowing one run on five hits and registered two strikeouts.

Ramapo’s lone run in this one came from an RBI groundout from junior outfielder Robert Klawans, scoring fifth year outfielder Christian Alonso. The Cougars were led by a three-RBI day from infielder Christian Pellone.

In the second game of the series, the Roadrunners were able to get six innings out of junior starter Nick Danbrowney, who allowed three earned runs on five hits and tallied four strikeouts. Kean once again saw a complete game from their starting pitcher, this time from Gianni Marano, who allowed two runs on seven hits and registered four strikeouts.

Ramapo scored both of their runs in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a passed ball and an RBI single from graduate shortstop Zack Bailey. The Cougars had four separate players record an RBI, and shortstop Dominic Masino led the team with two hits.

Moving to the doubleheader against Rutgers-Camden, the Roadrunners fell in game one, 9-8. Junior starter Jack Martin was phenomenal on the mound for Ramapo, going seven innings and allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts. However, the game fell apart after the Roadrunner bullpen surrendered four runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.

At the plate, Ramapo saw Alonso, John Higgins and Tyler Guadagno each record multiple RBIs. Additionally, Bailey and catcher Sean Donaghue each recorded an RBI. For Rutgers, Jack Murphy recorded three RBI, as did outfielder Auggie Uzdanovics, who topped his big day off with a walk-off single. 

In game two, Ramapo finally found their way into the win column with a narrow 4-3 victory. Sophomore starter James Pazdera lasted seven innings, allowing one earned run, three hits and tallied seven strikeouts. Senior Gerard Chiricolo pitched the final two innings, allowing one unearned run and recording four strikeouts.

With the game tied at three in the ninth inning, junior catcher Jesse Swartout recorded a go-ahead RBI single that scored senior outfielder TJ Roman. Swartout led the team on the day with two RBI, while Bailey recorded a team-high two hits.

Ramapo returned home on Tuesday to face Maritime College, where they registered a convincing 6-1 victory. The win was number 100 for manager Ryan Rinsky, who took over as the coach in 2019 after a four-year career on the team. 

In the win, fifth-year starter James Garthaffner lasted six innings, allowing one run on four hits and tallying four strikeouts. The win was Garthaffner’s first of the season and his fifth start. For Maritime, Evan Block started and lasted just one and one-third innings, allowing six runs on five hits.

Bailey recorded three RBI on two hits in the first two innings for Ramapo, while Donaghue and Higgins each recorded RBI as well. In total, Bailey recorded a team-high three hits while freshman infielder Jack Tallent led the team with two runs scored.

Ramapo has just four games remaining this season before the NJAC playoffs begin. They’ll take part in a home-away-from-home series against The College of New Jersey on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday, their season will wrap up at home in a doubleheader against Stockton University, which will also be the team’s annual senior day.

Stockton is currently ahead of Ramapo by one game, so their season finale will play a pivotal role in determining what seed the Roadrunners will be in the NJAC playoffs. Only the top four teams in the division make the playoffs, and Ramapo currently holds a one game lead over both Montclair State University and Rutgers-Camden, who are tied for fourth.


Featured photo by Jenna Barnes