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College Baseball:
Rutgers-Camden Week in Review

Monday, April 19, 2004

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Matt Ulmer (Beverly, NJ/Holy Cross)

For the second time this season, junior right-hander Matt Ulmer earns Raptor of the Week honors after hurling 8-1/3 strong innings in a 2-1 victory over The College of New Jersey April 15 in Camden. Facing a team that had posted 49 runs and 43 hits in a doubleheader sweep in its previous two games, Ulmer limited the hard-hitting Lions to five hits, two walks and one earned run while raising his record to 4-3. He struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 1.83. Ulmer also received Raptor of the Week honors on March 8, 2004. He also won the school’s weekly honor as a sophomore (April 28, 2003) and was Co-Raptor of the Week as a freshman (March 4, 2002).

BASEBALL (14-14-1/5-6)
Tues., April 13 at Gwynedd-Mercy College , ppd. to April 20
Thurs., April 15 Rutgers-Camden 2, The College of New Jersey 1
Fri., April 16 Rutgers-Camden 12, Richard Stockton College 6
Sat., April 17 William Paterson University 7-5, Rutgers-Camden 4-10

Tues., April 20 at Gwynedd-Mercy College 3 p.m.
Weds., April 21 at DeSales University 3:30 p.m.
Fri., April 23 Rowan University 3:30 p.m.
Sat., April 24 at New Jersey City University (doubleheader) 12 p.m.
Tues., April 27 Catholic University 7 p.m.
Thurs., April 29 Rutgers University-Newark 3:30 p.m.
Fri., April 30 at Rowan University 3:30 p.m.
Sat., May 1 at Kean University (doubleheader) 12 p.m.
Tues., May 4 Delaware Valley College 7 p.m.

The torrential rain storms early in the week caused the Scarlet Raptors to postpone a game at Gwynedd-Mercy College April 13, but even the gloomy weather couldn’t dampen the start of the week for Rutgers-Camden sophomore hurler Tom Ford (Laurel Springs, NJ/Paul VI). Ford collected the New Jersey Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week award on April 12, following a five-hit, 7-0 shutout over Richard Stockton College April 9. That was only the beginning of the honors for Ford, who was named New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division II/III Pitcher o the Week and the ECAC Metro Div. III Pitcher of the Week April 13 and capped his haul April 15 as he was named a Division III Honorable Mention Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

When the Scarlet Raptors finally saw some action, they rode several strong performances to a 3-1 record against conference competition to climb back into the NJAC playoff chase. Among the wins were triumphs over The College of New Jersey and William Paterson University, two teams which have practically owned the Raptors over the years.

Rutgers-Camden started its NJAC run April 15 with a 2-1 home victory over TCNJ. The next day the Raptors traveled to Atlantic City for a 12-6 victory over Richard Stockton College. They capped their week April 17 with a home doubleheader split against William Paterson, losing the opener 7-4 and winning the nightcap, 10-5.

In the Paterson twinbill, the Pioneers won the opener behind eight innings of six-hit ball from junior Jake Pravkewitz. Rutgers-Camden took the nightcap as junior Paul DeMarco (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) hurled six strong innings in the nightcap to mark only the second time Rutgers-Camden has ever beaten William Paterson, which now owns a 39-2 lead in the all-time series. The only other Scarlet Raptor win was 6-5 in the nightcap of a doubleheader March 30, 2002 in Camden.

In the opening game, the Pioneers’ junior third baseman Joe Hernandez went 2-for-5 with four RBIs to stake William Paterson to a 7-0 lead after 3-1/2 innings. Hernandez, who also had a grand slam in the second game to finish his day with eight RBIs, collected an RBI single in the first inning, and RBI ground out in the third and a two-run double in the fourth, when Paterson plated five runs off losing pitcher Ford.

Paterson’s five-run fourth inning started with an error, followed by a single from sophomore right fielder Pete Zaccheria and a two-run double from senior first baseman Matt Cleary. Following a single by senior left fielder Mike Bucco, freshman shortstop Mike Rivera delivered a sacrifice fly to center field. Freshman center fielder Rick Pignatello walked and advanced to second when Bucco was thrown out on the front end of a double steal. Following a single by junior second baseman Tim Banos, Hernandez ripped his two-run double down the left field line.

Rutgers-Camden rallied with a run in the eighth on an RBI triple by junior right fielder Dustin Roach (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee). The Raptors collected three runs in the ninth off reliever Mat Sackman, aided by a two-run single from sophomore first baseman Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland) and Roach’s RBI walk. Reliever Anthony Magine wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout to end the game and earn his fourth save.

Pravkewitz (3-1) worked eight innings, allowing two walks, six hits and one earned run. He struck out seven.

Zaccheria, Cleary and Banos each had three hits for the Pioneers. Pignatello, Hernandez and Bucco contributed two hits to the 16-hit attack.

For the Scarlet Raptors, sophomore shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) went 3-for-3, while senior center fielder Brian Murphy (Sewell, NJ/Paul VI) went 2-for-5. Calloway and Roach each collected two RBIs.

In the nightcap, DeMarco shut down the Pioneer bats for five innings before allowing the grand slam in the sixth inning. Hernandez became the first right-handed batter to pull the ball for a home run this season at Campbell’s Field, where the early-season wind blows in towards home plate off the Delaware River.

By the time Hernandez homered, the Raptors already had knocked out Pioneer starter and loser Dan Sweeney, who allowed 11 hits and nine earned runs in 4-1/3 innings.

The Raptors scored twice in the first inning when Murphy hit a leadoff single to right field and sophomore second baseman David Hibbs (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) pulled a home run down the right field line.

Senior third baseman David Petitt (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook), celebrating his 22nd birthday, opened the third inning with an opposite-field double to right, and scored on a single by Murphy. Murphy stole second and scored on a two-out single by Roach.

The Scarlet Raptors put the game away in a five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a bases-clearing triple from Jakubowski.

DeMarco (1-1) worked six innings, allowing eight hits and four walks. He held the Pioneers to one run until allowing the sixth-inning grand slam. He also struck out three. Junior Michael Wunderler (Blue Anchor, NJ/St. Joseph’s-Hammonton) earned his second save by pitching three perfect innings.

For the Raptors, Murphy, Hibbs and freshman designated hitter Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) each went 3-for-5, while Calloway and freshman left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) each added two hits in the second game.

The Raptors’ week started with the home win over TCNJ April 15, as junior pitcher Matt Ulmer (Beverly, NJ/Holy Cross) hurled 8-1/3 innings to pick up the victory and Ford earned his first save with a perfect two-thirds of an inning.

TCNJ was ranked No. 23 in the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Division III national poll.. The Raptors’ victory snapped the Lions’ three-game winning streak, and ended a string of five straight Rutgers-Camden losses to TCNJ. The Lions, who lead the all-time series 36-7-1, had won 14 of the last 15 games against Rutgers-Camden, with the only Raptor victory coming March 28, 2002 (7-2 in Camden).

Ulmer scattered five hits and two walks, while striking out seven, to raise his record to 4-3. He allowed only one earned run while winning a pitchers’ duel with TCNJ senior Matt Szustowicz (2-1). Szustowicz worked seven innings, allowing two earned runs, three hits and seven walks. He struck out eight.

The Raptors took a 1-0 lead in the second inning Jakubowski walked and Roach was hit by a pitch. Freshman right fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland) lined an RBI single to center field.

Rutgers-Camden tacked on another run in the seventh when Calloway and Jakubowski drew walks. Roach, who had an outstanding game in left field by throwing out TCNJ runners at second base and at home plate, delivered a two-out infield single to plate Calloway.

TCNJ cut the gap to 2-1 in the top of the eighth inning. Freshman catcher Gerard Haran singled to center and sophomore right fielder Chris Wilson was hit by a pitch. With two outs, senior second baseman Chris Schoonhoven ripped an RBI single to center.

The Lions threatened in the ninth when senior first baseman Pat Zegarski walked. Pinch-runner Joe Bergondo was sacrificed to second by Haran. Ford relieved Ulmer with a 2-1 count and ended the threat with a strikeout and a fly to center.

The next day, sophomore third baseman Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) went 4-for-5 with three runs and one RBI as the Scarlet took advantage of seven errors and seven walks to defeat Richard Stockton. The contest was played at Sandcastle Stadium, home of the Atlantic City Surf of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Sophomore catcher Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs for Rutgers-Camden, while Murphy ripped a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning.

Stockton knocked out the Raptors' junior starter Pat Jankowski (Delran, NJ/Delran) in the third inning while cutting its deficit to 6-5, but junior Matt Novella (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook) came in to collect the victory, working the final 6-2/3 innings. He scattered nine hits and one walk, while striking out one. He allowed only one earned run in the bottom of the ninth inning in raising his record to 2-1.

Stockton outhit the Raptors, 13-12, led by junior first baseman Chris Freihaut, who went 3-for-5 with one run and three RBIs. Freihaut accounted for the lone run off Novella with a one-out solo home run in the ninth inning.

SOFTBALL (24-7/9-5)
Mon., April 12 Gwynedd-Mercy College (doubleheader), cancelled, rain
Tues., April 13 The College of New Jersey (doubleheader), ppd. to April 18
Wed., April 14 Wesley College (doubleheader), cancelled, rain
Thurs., April 15 Rutgers-Camden 4-5, Ursinus College 1-0
Sat., April 17 Montclair State University 3-2, Rutgers-Camden 0-0 (first game 8 innings)
Sun., April 18 Rutgers-Camden 2-5, The College of New Jersey 3-3

Tues., April 20 William Paterson University (doubleheader) 3 p.m.
Thurs., April 22 College of Staten Island (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Sat., April 24 at Ramapo College (doubleheader) 1 p.m.

A rainy week played havoc with the Lady Raptors’ softball games, postponing doubleheaders April 12, 13 and 14, and forcing a reshuffling of the schedule. By the time the fields dried, Rutgers-Camden started a grueling stretch off six doubleheaders in 10 days, beginning with the second twinbill of the season against Ursinus College April 15. The Raptors swept the doubleheader, 4-1 and 5-0, before running into stiff weekend compeition against New Jersey Athletic Conference foes. They lost a twinbill against Montclair State University (3-0 in eight innings and 2-0) on Saturday and split a doubleheader against The College of New Jersey Sunday, losing the opener, 3-2, and winning the nightcap, 5-3.

In Sunday’s split against TCNJ, the Lions’ Jessica Donohue flirted with a perfect game in the winning the opener, and Raptor junior Becky Johnson (Bridgeton, NJ/Cumberland Regional) made a run at a no-hitter before getting relief help from sophomore Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) in winning the nightcap.

Donohue (13-3) was in control in the first game, sailing along with a perfect game entering the bottom of the seventh inning. She walked leadoff batter Celeste Chinappi (Bellmawr, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) on four pitches to open the seventh, then lost her no-hitter and shutout one out later on a two-run home run by Schlichtig. That was all Donohue allowed, however, as she retired the Raptors’ cleanup hitter, freshman right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) and No. 5 batter Johnson on pop ups to third base to end the game.

Donohue finished with the one-hitter, one walk and nine strikeouts.

The Lions gave Donohue all of her run support in the fourth inning off Schlichtig (13-5). Junior second baseman Cristina Venetucci reached on a leadoff walk. Freshman shortstop Erin Cusmano reached on a fielder’s choice when her attempted sacrifice bunt was thrown away on an error by Schlichtig, trying to make the force at second base. Junior right fielder Kristen Zimmerman drew a walk to load the bases, and freshman designated player Jessica Kohut cleared the bases with a single to the right-center field fence.

Schlichtig finished the day with a two-hitter – the other hit being a sixth-inning infield single by Zimmerman – while allowing three walks and striking out nine.

In the nightcap, the Lady Raptors took an early lead behind Johnson, who tossed no-hit ball until the sixth inning when TCNJ loaded the bases on a walk to Donahue and back-to-back one-out singles by Venetucci and Cusmano. With two outs, Kohut cleared the bases again, this time with a double to left-center to make it a 4-3 game.

The Raptors added a valuable insurance run in the top of the seventh inning on a single by freshman second baseman Stacy Haas (Florence, NJ/Florence), a stolen base, an infield ground out and a throwing error. That run proved big after TCNJ junior first baseman Siobham Scullin opened the bottom of the seventh with a single. Schlichtig relieved Johnson and was greeted by a single from freshman third baseman Stacy Rowe, putting the tying runs on base.

Schlichtig retired the next three batters, sandwiching a pop out to first base between a pair of strikeouts, to earn her first save. Johnson (11-2) collected the win, working six-plus innings, allowing four hits, three walks and three earned runs. She struck out six.

TCNJ freshman starter Julianne Lajiness took the loss, falling to 1-2. She allowed an unearned run in the first inning which included two walks and an infield error.

Following a pair of walks to open the second inning, Haas delivered an RBI single for Rutgers-Camden. Johnson added an RBI double and the final run of the three-run frame scored on an error.

Kohut finished the day 2-for-5 with six RBIs as she drove home every TCNJ run in the doubleheader. For Rutgers-Camden, Haas went 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI in the nightcap and 2-for-6 on the day. Schlichtig finished the day 1-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs.

A day earlier, senior Crystal Sweeney hurled a five-hitter and sophomore Athanasia Totaro crafted a seven-hitter in the nightcap as Montclair State swept Rutgers-Camden in a pair of NJAC shutouts.

In the opening game, Sweeney hurled shutout ball to win a pitcher’s duel over Schlichtig. Sweeney walked four and struck out five. Schlichtig allowed six hits and two walks, while fanning 11.

The Red Hawks scored all their runs in the top of the eighth after senior right fielder Allison Kreiss was placed on second to start the frame under the international tie-breaker rule. With one out, junior Kari McDonnell drew a walk and senior shortstop Diana Auteri loaded the bases with an infield single. Following an infield pop out for the second out, senior first baseman Dana Sprague delivered a bases-clearing double to right-center field.

The Lady Raptors’ Haas was the lone batter to collect a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3.

The second game also was a fine pitchers’ duel as Totaro (8-2) hurled shutout ball to defeat Johnson. Totaro didn’t walk a batter and struck out six in her seven-hit shutout. Johnson allowed only three hits and three walks, while striking out five. Only one of the runs she allowed was earned.

Both Montclair State runs came in the third inning after junior center fielder Joelle Fata reached on a one-out infield single. McDonnell followed with an infield single and Auteri walked to load the bases. A walk to Totaro forced home the eventual winning run, and McDonnell later scored on a passed ball.

The Lady Raptors’ seven hits included two apiece by Schlichtig, Haas and freshman first baseman Ashley O’Brien (Phoenixville, PA/Spring Ford).

In the sweep over Ursinus, Schlichtig and Johnson collected complete-game victories.

In the opening game, Schlichtig allowed a pair of singles, one unearned run and three walks. She struck out eight.

Ursinus scored its run in the second inning on an outfield throwing error, but Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good in the fourth inning on a single by Millett and a two-run home run to left field by Johnson. It was Johnson’s eighth home run of the season, setting a new single-season school record. She had been tied at seven with the mark she posted in 2003, along with the old standard of seven set by Shannon Ireland in 2001.

The Raptors added their final two runs in the sixth inning on RBI doubles by a pair of freshmen, catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) and left fielder Tara Fisher (Upper Deerfield, NJ/Cumberland Regional).

Baney ripped a pair of doubles in the game.

In the nightcap, Johnson hurled perfect ball until the Bears’ freshman right fielder Mary Reid poked a clean single up the middle with one out in the fifth inning. Johnson finished with a two-hitter for her seventh shutout of the year, tying Schlichtig for the team lead. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out five.

The Lady Raptors scored three unearned runs in the first inning off freshman losing pitcher Mallory Greene. With two outs, Greene allowed a single by Chinappi and a walk to Millett, before being victimized by a pair of infield errors that produced three runs.

Johnson squeezed home a run in the third inning and Millett provided the Raptors’ final run with a home run to left field in the fifth inning. It was her sixth homer of the season.

For the day, Johnson, Millett, Chinappi and Baney each had two hits for the Lady Raptors.

April 17 at Messiah College Falcon Invitational

Men: 1. Susquehanna University, 224; 2. Messiah College, 178; 3. Elizabethtown College, 140; 4. Albright College, 64; 5. Juniata College, 52; 6. (tie) Houghton College and Lebanon Valley College, 37; 8. Stevens Tech, 31; 9. Rutgers-Camden, 17; 10. Delaware Valley College, 9; 11. Baptist Bible College, 2.

Women: 1. Susquehanna University, 152.5; 2. Messiah College, 149; 3. Elizabethtown College, 111; 4. Houghton College, 104.5; 5. Lebanon Valley College, 95; 6. Juniata College, 81.5; 7. (tie) Rutgers-Camden and Albright College, 27; 9. Baptist Bible College, 11; 10. Delaware Valley College, 9.5.

Rutgers-Camden Winners:
* Tameka Jackson, 200-meter dash, 25.84

Rutgers-Camden School Records:
* Men’s 4x800 (Chris McGowan, Matthew Weng, Stefon Coleman, Matthew McElroy), 9:31.29
(Old: 10:17.9 at Lebanon Valley College April 3, 1998 – Jeffrey Lee-You, Fung Kong, Sandeep Singh, Stephen Waite)
* Raphael Fuentes, 200 M, 23.12 (Old: 23.5, Russ Panetta, April 3, 1998 at Lebanon Valley College)

April 24 at Lions Invitational 10:30 a.m.
May 1 at NJAC Championships (Richard Stockton College)

Junior sprinter Tameka Jackson (Pennsauken, NJ/Sterling) blazed to a first-place finish in the 200-meter dash and freshman Raphael Fuentes (Yonkers, NY/Haddonfield) set a school record in his 200-meter dash competition as the Rutgers University-Camden track team competed at the Messian College Falcon Invitational April 17 in Grantham, PA.

Fuentes’ mark was one of two school records set by the men’s team, which erased a pair of marks that had been set at Lebanon Valley College on April 3, 1998. The men’s 4x800 team of sophomore Chris McGowan (Barrington, NJ/Gloucester Catholic), junior co-captain Matthew Weng (Lakehurst, NJ/Shawnee), freshman Stefon Coleman (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove) and senior anchor Matthew McElroy (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) set a school mark with a 9:31.29 clocking, destroying the old mark of 10:17.9. The Raptor quartet finished third in the event.

Fuentes, meanwhile, placed 10th in the 200-meter dash with a school-record 23.12 clocking. The old mark was 23.5 by Russ Panetta. Fuentes also came within an eyelash of another school record, the 11.4 time at 100 meters. He ran an 11.41 in finishing ninth in the event.

Jackson dominated the field with her 25.84 clocking in winning the 200-meter dash. The nearest competitor finished at 26.36.

Overall, the Rutgers-Camden women tied Albright College for seventh place (27 points) out of 10 teams. The Raptor men finished ninth (17 points) out of 11. Susquehanna University won both the men’s and the women’s competitions with 224 and 152.5 points, respectively.

Junior co-captain Taiwan Lamb (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City) finished 12th at 100 meters (11.51) and 14th at 200 meters (23.52). McElroy was 27th at 200 meters (26.35) and 20th at 400 meters (1:01.23), while McGowan was fifth at 800 meters (2:00.66) and Weng was sixth in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:00.73).

On the women’s side, freshman Donna-Marie Kirk (Turnersville, NJ/Washington Township) finished fourth in the discus (110-10) and seventh in the shot put (32-11.25). Senior Nicole Parkinson (Englewood, NJ/Bergen County Tech) ran a 13.64 in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash and qualified for the finals, where she finished eighth at 13.81. She also was fifth in the long jump (15-2).

Sophomore Nafeesa Yusuff (Vineland, NJ/Vineland) placed ninth in the 100-meter dash (13.85) and 12th at 200 meters (28.02), while junior Tiffany Logan (Turnersville, NJ/Washington Township) was 10th in the long jump (13-9.75).

April 13 ALVERNIA COLLEGE INVITATIONAL, cancelled (rain)
(at Maple Dale Golf Club, Dover, DE) (5th out of 9)

1. Wesley College, 300; 2. College of New Jersey, 318; 3. McDaniel College, 323; 4. New York University, 325; 5. Rutgers University-Camden, 326; 6. Richard Stockton College, 332; 7. Eastern University, 333; 8. Newport News Apprentice, 342; 9. Wesley (White), 350).

Medalist: Zac Oakley (Wesley), 73.
Rutgers-Camden medalists: Chris Kelley, 78.

Rutgers-Camden scores: Kelley, 78; Hugh Arbuthnot, 79; Brian Mason, 84; Ryan Cusick, 85; John Goff, 87; Robert Burgess, 88

Mon., April 19 at Franklin & Marshall College Invitational 1 p.m.

Freshman Chris Kelley (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield) shot a 78 to pace the Rutgers University-Camden golf team to a 326 score and a fifth-place finish in the Wesley College Golf Invitational Thursday.

The nine-team event was held at the Maple Dale Golf Club.

Host Wesley College won the event with a 300, led by individual medalist Zac Oakley, who shot a 73. One stroke back was Will Scarborough, who shot a 74 to lead The College of New Jersey to a 318 score and a second-place finish.

Kelley produced his third round out of five invitationals this spring where he shot in the 70s.

Junior Hugh Arbuthnot (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) finished second on the Raptors with a 79, while junior Brian Mason (Bridgeton, NJ/Bridgeton) notched an 84. Senior captain Ryan Cusick (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) shot an 85, followed by sophomore John Goff (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI), who notched an 87.

Serving as an alternate for the Raptors was freshman Robert Burgess (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic), who shot an 88.

Photos by Nancy L. Pope

©2004 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.