Monday, March 1, 2004
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Junior pitcher Nick Davidson turned in an outstanding outing in his first start of the year for the Rutgers-Camden baseball team, working eight shutout innings and allowing only three hits as the Scarlet Raptors won their home opener over Wesley College, 3-0, Feb. 28. Davidson walked three and struck out seven to post the Raptors’ first victory of the season. He allowed only one runner to third base all day long, coming in the first inning.
Thurs., Feb. 26 Rutgers-Camden 3, Catholic University 3 (11 innings, darkness)
Wed., March 3 Haverford College 3 p.m.
Junior right-hander Nick Davidson (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern) worked eight innings of three-hit ball and combined with junior righty Matt Novella (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook) on a four-hit shutout as Rutgers-Camden defeated Wesley College, 3-0, in the Scarlet Raptors’ home opener.
Davidson walked three and struck out seven, including five looking at a sharp-breaking curveball, as the Raptors raised their record to 1-0-1. It was the season opener for Wesley College.
Davidson allowed an opposite-field double down the right field line to Wesley’s junior second baseman Steve Robusto leading off the game. He stranded Robusto at third base on a pair of called strikeouts, sandwiched around a ground out, and didn’t allow a runner past second the rest of the day. Following Robusto, he retired seven straight batters before his string was broken by a one-out walk in the third inning, and he didn’t allow his second hit until an opposite-field single to right by sophomore center fielder Bryan Baylis with two outs in the sixth inning.
Baylis also had a single off Novella in the ninth to finish the day 2-for-3. Novella allowed that one hit, while striking out one, to collect his first save of the season.
SCARLET RAPTORS REPORT 2-2-2-2
The Raptors collected only three hits off the combination of Wesley pitchers J.T. Norris and Justin Strickland, but Norris also walked two batters and hit four in his five innings of pitching. He allowed all three hits and three earned runs. Strickland hurled three perfect innings, fanning three.
The Raptors scored twice in the third inning following a leadoff infield single by senior second baseman Barry Huver (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown). With two outs, senior designated hitter Mike Carlino (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic) roped an RBI triple to left-center. Carlino scored on a wild pitch.
In the fifth inning, Huver was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a fielder’s choice by sophomore shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon).
In their season opener two days earlier in Washington D.C., the Raptors watched senior center fielder Brian Murphy (Sewell, NJ/Paul VI) go 3-for-5 with a double and a solo home run in a 3-3 tie against Catholic University.
The game was called after 11 innings due to darkness, after the Raptors wriggled out of a big jam in the bottom of the 11th. Catholic loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and an error against Raptor sophomore reliever Derek Heritage (Sicklerville, NJ/Edgewood). Heritage worked out of the jam with a pop to second base and a strikeout looking to preserve the tie. He finished his first outing of the season working 3-1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and one walk. He struck out three.
The Raptors also received a strong outing from junior starter Matt Ulmer (Beverly, NJ/Holy Cross), who worked 7-2/3 innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
After Catholic scored a run in the bottom of the second on a sacrifice fly by senior first baseman Timothy Bottomly, the Raptors’ Murphy tied the game with a solo home run to left, leading off the fourth inning. The home run was the 16th of Murphy’s Rutgers-Camden career, allowing him to tie Gerry Gatelein (1993-96) for second place on the career list. The school record of 19 was set by Jamie Schwantes (1994-97).
Murphy’s three hits gave him 160 for his career, 16 behind Gatelein’s school mark.
Rutgers-Camden added a run in the fifth when senior third baseman David Petitt (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook) walked, advanced to second on a single up the middle by senior catcher Frank Marciano (Erial, NJ/Highland) and moved to third on a sacrifice by freshman left fielder Nathan Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland). Petitt scored on a ground out by Huver.
Catholic tied the game in the sixth on an RBI single by Bottomly and took the lead in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Bernard Dennis.
Trailing, 3-2, in the top of the ninth, the Raptors rallied following a leadoff walk to Carlino. Sophomore right fielder Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) reached on a fielder’s choice, then advanced to third on a clutch pinch-hit single to right field by freshman Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township). Terrill was replaced by freshman pinch-runner Brian Schweers (Perryville, MD/Perryville). Following a strikeout, Schweers allowed himself to get caught in a rundown while Turekian scampered home with the tying run.
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