Monday, April 11, 2005
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
During a week with several outstanding candidates for Raptor of the Week, senior pitcher Matt Ulmer earns the honor after hurling 8-1/3 strong innings to lead the Rutgers-Camden baseball team to a 5-2 victory April 8 over the nation’s top-ranked team, previously-undefeated Rowan University. Ulmer, who improved his record to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.95, walked one, struck out two and allowed six hits and two earned runs against the hard-hitting Profs. It was his 16th career win, one shy of the program record.
The Rutgers-Camden baseball team sent shockwaves around the country April 8 after shutting down undefeated and top-ranked Rowan University.
Senior pitcher Matt Ulmer (Beverly, NJ/Holy Cross) hurled 8-1/3 strong innings and junior third baseman Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) went 2-for-4 with two doubles, one run and two RBIs as the 26th-ranked Scarlet Raptors knocked the top-ranked Profs from the undefeated ranks, 5-2, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game in Camden.
The Scarlet Raptors broke open a 2-2 game with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against their NJAC rival, which had earned its No. 1 ranking in the ABCA/Collegiate Baseball Division III national poll after outscoring opponents, 133-51, in winning its first 16 games, including six against opponents currently ranked in the national Top 30 poll.
Ulmer raised his record to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.95 while allowing two earned runs and one walk over 8-1/3 innings. He struck out two as he posted his 16th career victory, one behind the program record of 17 set by Gar Miller (1957-1960).
After Rowan put a runner on base in the ninth inning on a one-out error, senior Matt Novella (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook Regional) relieved Ulmer. Novella worked the final two-thirds of an inning, allowing two walks, as he collected his third save of the season and seventh of his career, tying Dan McKenna’s (2002-2003) program record.
With Ulmer and Rowan freshman southpaw Ryan Kulik locked in a 2-2 pitchers’ duel, the lefty-hitting Jakubowski led off the eighth inning with his second double of the game, slicing a shot into left-center field. He scored when junior catcher Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) reached as his grounder went under Rowan’s shortstop and into center field for an error. A walk by junior first baseman Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) brought in Rowan sophomore Tyler Dempsey to relieve Kulik.
Senior left fielder Ed McDonnell (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) loaded the bases with a bunt single, and the Raptors’ final two runs scored on a single by junior second baseman Nick Faragasso (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic).
Rowan loaded the bases in the ninth on a one-out infield error and two walks before Novella got the final out on a fly to center field.
The Profs scored the game’s first run in the fourth inning on a double by sophomore center fielder Brian McLaughlin.
The Raptors bounced back with two runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double by Jakubowski, but Rowan tied the game in the sixth on McLaughlin’s RBI single.
For the Profs, McLaughlin went 2-for-4 with both RBIs.
Jakubowski was the only Raptor batter with multiple hits, while Faragasso had two RBIs.
The next day in Newark, Rutgers-Camden sophomore Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) hurled a four-hitter over eight innings and Novella collected his eighth career save to set a program record as the Scarlet Raiders split their NJAC doubleheader at Rutgers-Newark.
Rutgers-Camden lost the opener, 3-1, as Rutgers-Newark ace Travis Bilak tossed two-hitter. The Scarlet Raptors won the nightcap, 4-1.
Bilak raised his record to 3-1 with his second complete game in five starts. He struck out four and walked two.
Bilak allowed a solo home run to right field by sophomore center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) in the second and a single to right field by pinch hitter Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Pope Paul VI) to start the ninth.
Ronca, 3-1, struck out nine and walked six before Novella came on to earn his fourth save of the season, escaping a two-on, no-out jam in the ninth. It was the second save in as many days for Novella, who passed the old career mark of seven set by Dan McKenna (2002-2003).
In the opener, freshman right fielder Kyle Long, ignited a two-run rally with two out in the second, doubling home senior third baseman Rob Eberhard who had reached on a double. Long scored on a single to center by senior center fielder Rob Biagiotti.
Long went 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI in the game, while Biagiotti went 2-for-3 with one RBI.
In the second game, Buchter hit his second home run of the day and of the season over the left field wall to start a three-run fourth inning, staking the Raptors to a 4-0 lead. With two outs, sophomore right fielder Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) tripled home a run before scoring on a single to left-center field by Calloway.
Midili, who went 2-for-5, scored the game’s first run in the third on a wild pitch.
McDonnell went 3-for-4 to lead the Raptors’ 10-hit attack. Buchter went 2-for-3 in the nightcap and 3-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs on the day.
Rutgers-Newark’s lone run came when sophomore designated hitter Matt Halligan walked and eventually scored on a single by junior catcher Mike Marcucci.
The Raptors completed a 3-2 weekend in NJAC play by splitting a doubleheader at Montclair State April 10. After losing the opener, 6-2, they bounced back for a 7-3 win in the nightcap, thanks to sterling relief work by Novella.
Novella entered the second game in the third inning in relief of freshman starter Ryan Sullivan (Deptford, NJ/Deptford). The Raptors’ all-time leader in games pitched who was making his 54th appearance, Novella allowed eight hits, two walks and two earned runs the rest of the way. He struck out three as he raised his record to 3-1. That performance capped a big weekend for the senior righty, who had a pair of saves against Rowan (Friday) and Rutgers-Newark (Saturday) as he set the Rutgers-Camden career record with eight saves.
In the opening game, righthander Jay Cook hurled a five-hitter, allowing only one earned run and two walks. He struck out six. It was the first career complete game for Cook (2-0).
The Red Hawks rallied from a 1-0 deficit with a five-run fourth inning. The Raptors took that early lead in the top of the first inning when Calloway reached on an error and scored on a double by McDonnell.
Montclair State’s five-run fourth included an RBI single by Ed Kloepping and an error on a grounder by Tommy Warth, which plated two more runs for a 3-1 MSU lead. Kloepping scored on a wild pitch and Matt Hartwick lofted sacrifice fly to account for the final Red Hawk run.
Camden scored its other run in the seventh on an RBI single by Midili. The Red Hawks’ Ethan Boyd hit his own RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.
Junior righty Derek Heritage (Cedarbrook, NJ/Edgewood) took the loss, allowing seven hits, six runs (five earned) and one walk in 6-2/3 innings. He had three strikeouts. Boyd had three of Montclair State’s seven hits.
Two of the Raptors’ five hits were by junior shortstop Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon). In the second game, the Scarlet Raptors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first as they strung together five straight hits. Freshman second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) collected a one-out base hit and Calloway followed with a single to left. He went to second on a throw to third. McDonnell poked a two-run single up the middle and senior DH Dustin Roach (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) had an infield single. Sophomore left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) brought home McDonnell with a base hit for the final Raptor run.
Montclair State would get a run back in the first on an RBI hit by Brian Butler and closed within 3-2 as Kevin Cuozzi added an RBI ground out in the seventh. Rutgers-Camden tacked on three more runs in the eighth, however, on a sacrifice fly by Calloway, an RBI single by McDonnell and a sacrifice fly by Roach. Straga added an RBI single in the ninth.
Jakubowski and Straga each had three hits for the Raptors.
SOFTBALL (23-1/4-0 NJAC)
Five shutouts in six games, a sweep of their first two New Jersey Athletic Consference doubleheaders, a school-record winning streak extended to 20 games, two more NJAC weekly honorees and a few more school records falling by the wayside: that was the story last week in a nutshell for the red-hot Rutgers-Camden women’s softball team.
The week started out seeing the Raptors’ junior Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) earn her third NJAC and second ECAC Metro Pitcher of the Week honor this season, and sophomore catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) capture the NJAC Player of the Week honor. That same day the Raptors opened their NJAC season with a sweep of Ramapo College. After a non-conference sweep over Cabrini, Rutgers-Camden ended the week sweeping NJAC rival Rutgers-Newark on the road.
Schlichtig and Becky Johnson (Bridgeton, NJ/Cumberland Regional) each hurled a shutout and the Scarlet Raptors ripped five home runs in sweeping Rutgers-Newark, 20-0 in five innings, and 6-0 April 9.
In the opening game, Schlichtig pitched a one-hitter as she raised her record to 17-0 and tied Sarah O’Malley’s (2001-2003) program record of 40 career wins. She walked one and struck out 12 including nine of the first 10 batters and allowed only a two-out pinch-hit single in the fourth inning to sophomore Lauren Herbig. The only other batter to reach base against Schlichtig was junior right fielder Ashley Woodruff on a one-out walk in the fifth inning.
Rutgers-Camden, meanwhile, collected 20 hits off of Newark pitchers Tanya Spampinato and reliever Jessie Murray, including home runs by Schlichtig, sophomore right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional), freshman first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston) and Johnson.
The Raptors also added eight doubles, including two apiece by Schlichtig and senior shortstop Celeste Chinappi (Bellmawr, NJ/Gloucester Catholic). Chinappi, who was 4-for-8 on the day, finished an outstanding week in which she went 8-for-18 (.444) including two home runs, four doubles and 12 RBIs.
The Raptors scored all the runs they needed in the first inning, which started when a deep fly ball from Schlichtig fell untouched between two hesitant fielders in left-center for a double. Chinappi’s double plated Schlichtig, sparking a four-run inning.
Rutgers-Camden added five-run frames in both the second and third innings. Millett hit a two-run homer in the second and the third featured a three-run shot by Dreitlein the first of her collegiate career and a two-run shot by Schlichtig.
Johnson extended her school career home run record to 18 with a two-run homer in a four-run fifth inning.
For the game, sophomore catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) went 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Schlichtig, Chinappi and sophomore third baseman Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) each added three hits.
The nightcap was quite different as Johnson and the Scarlet Raiders’ Katie Wheelan were locked in a pitchers’ duel most of the way. Rutgers-Camden scored an unearned second-inning run on an error, a walk and an eventual run-scoring single by freshman left fielder Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown).
That run held up until the Raptors tacked on five runs in the fifth inning, aided by a three-run homer from Chinappi.
Baney, with a 2-for-4 game and one run scored, was the only player with multiple hits.
Wheelan (4-4) worked six innings, allowing five hits, six runs (three earned) and five walks, while striking out two. Johnson (6-1) hurled seven innings of four-hit shutout ball. She struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter as she recorded her 17th career shutout, tying O’Malley for second place on the program list. Schlichtig is the career leader with 20 shutouts.
In the double-shutout sweep over Cabrini College April 6, Johnson hurled a one-hit shutout in the nightcap and allowed the only hit in a combination shutout with Schlichtig in the opening game as the Raptors posted 4-0 and 10-0 wins in a pair of non-conference one-hitters.
In the opening game, Schlichtig pitched six no-hit innings, walking one batter and struck out 11. Johnson, returning from an injury for her first appearance since the Raptors’ spring trip to Florida, hurled the seventh inning, allowing the Lady Cavaliers’ lone hit on a one-out single to left field by senior catcher Mary Adam.
The Raptors scored an unearned run in the first inning off losing pitcher Angela Templin after Schlichtig reached on a leadoff error. She was sacrificed to second by Dreitlein and scored on a two-out single by Baney.
The Raptors added a second-inning run courtesy of a pair of freshmen, as Grochowski singled, stole second and eventually scored on a single by second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro).
Rutgers-Camden plated an unearned run in the third, aided by a double from Chinappi, a single by Baney and a two-out infield error. Chinappi doubled again in the fifth inning and scored on a single by Millett.
In the nightcap, Johnson (5-1) hurled a no-hitter until sophomore first baseman Megan O’Brien ripped a one-out double in the fifth inning. That was the lone hit for the Lady Cavaliers in the five-inning game.
Rutgers-Camden scored four runs in the third inning on a grand slam by Chinappi, who went 3-for-5 with three runs and four RBIs in the doubleheader.
The Raptors added six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to put the game away, sending 10 batters to the plate and taking advantage of three walks, two wild pitches, one error and three singles. Schlichtig and junior first baseman Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) each had RBI singles in the inning. Feriod added an RBI walk.
Johnson didn’t walk a batter and struck out four in the nightcap.
In addition to Chinappi’s bat, Giles had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-3 in the opener, including a double, and 1-for-2 with one run in the nightcap. Giles also made a brilliant defensive play in the first inning of the second game to prolong the no-hit effort.
Baney added a 2-for-3 game in the opener with one RBI, while Schlichtig was 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI in the nightcap.
The Raptors opened their week and their NJAC schedule April 4 as Schlichtig hurled a pair of complete-game victories in a 4-0 and 8-1 home sweep over Ramapo College.
The twinbill sweep stretched the Lady Raptors’ winning streak to 16 games, setting a new program mark. They had entered the day tied for the record of 14 straight wins, accomplished twice (March 19-April 4, 2002 and March 13-30, 2004).
Schlichtig didn’t allow an earned run on the day as she raised her record to 15-0 and lowered her earned run average to a paltry 0.28. She threw her eighth shutout of the season in the opener extending her career shutout record to 19 and she hurled a one-hit gem, walking none and striking out 14. She had a perfect game going until one out in the seventh inning when Ramapo’s junior center fielder Erica Moore hit a little looper that died in the dirt past the pitching mound for an infield single. Moore was erased on a game-ending double play as Schlichtig faced the minimum 21 batters.
In the second game, Schlichtig hurled a three-hitter, walking five and striking out 10. She allowed only an unearned run in the first inning.
The Raptors scored all the runs Schlichtig needed with a two-run third inning off first-game losing pitcher Marissa Marino. Feriod drew a leadoff walk and advanced on a single by Schlichtig. After Chinappi walked to load the bases, Baney squeezed home Feriod, who beat the throw to the plate. The return throw to first hit Baney in the back, allowing Schlichtig to score.
The Raptors’ two-run fourth inning was sparked by a bunt single from Grochowski, who earlier in the game had made a fine catch to temporarily preserve the perfect game. Following a two-out walk to Schlichtig, Dreitlein hit a two-run double.
In the nightcap, in which Rutgers-Camden was batting as the visiting team due to conference doubleheader rules, Schlichtig opened the game reaching as a hit batsman. She went all the way to third base on a sacrifice by Dreitlein and scored when Chinappi reached on an infield error. Millett capped the three-run inning with a two-run homer, her sixth round-tripper of the season.
Ramapo bounced back in the bottom of the frame with its only run of the night, aided by a walk to sophomore shortstop Virginia O’Brien and Moore reaching base as a hit batsman. A dropped fly ball loaded the bases and the lone run scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by freshman third baseman Lauren Casino.
Rutgers-Camden put the game away with a four-run second inning, capped by Millett’s two-run double. Millett finished 2-for-4 with one run and four RBIs in the second game, while Chinappi was 1-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Mon., April 4 Lebanon Valley College Invitational
Team Scores: 1. Moravian College, 330; 2. Dickinson, 334; 3. Keystone, 336; 4 (tie) Delaware Valley, Lebanon Valley and Lycoming, 341; 7 (tie) Rutgers-Camden and Messiah, 344; 9. Millersville, 345; 10. Albright, 346; 11 (tie) Alvernia and Elizabethtown, 349; 13. Muhlenberg, 354; 14. Ursinus, 362; 15. Eastern, 393. No team score: Villa Julie.
Thur., April 7 Susquehanna University Tee-Off Invitational
Team scores: 1. The College of New Jersey, 303; 2. Susquehanna A, 304; 3. Susquehanna B, 306; 4. Elizabethtown College, 315; 5. (tie) Dickinson College and Lebanon Valley College, 319; 7. Rutgers University-Camden, 321; 8. Penn State Club, 322; 9.(tie) Lycoming College and St. Peter’s College, 325.
Fri., April 8 Gwynedd-Mercy College Quad cancelled, rain
Thur., April 14 Wesley College Invitational 12:30 p.m.
Rutgers University-Camden junior Chris Binder (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood) turned in the finest round in program history to cap a week in which the Scarlet Raptors played in both the Lebanon Valley College and Susquehanna Invitationals.
Binder set a golf program record with a round of 71 and narrowly missed being the overall tournament medalist losing on a tiebreaker as the Scarlet Raptors competed at the Susquehanna Spring Invitational April 7.
The Scarlet Raptors shot a 321 as a team to finish seventh out of 10 in the tournament held at the par 70 Susquehanna Valley Country Club.
The College of New Jersey won the event with a 303, and TCNJ’s Dan Pickering was the individual medalist. Like Binder, Pickering shot a 71, but he won on a tiebreaker of matching cards by posting a better score on the top handicap hole #2.
Binder’s 71 shaved one stroke off the school record that he had shared with Chris Bevelheimer. Bevelheimer shot a 72 at the Susquehanna Fall Classic on Sept. 24, 1993 and then tied his own mark at the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Championships April 25, 1994. Binder had posted his 72 at the Moravian College Fall Golf Invitational Sept. 23, 2004.
In addition to Binder, the Raptors received an 82 from junior John Goff (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI), who finished tied for 33rd out of 54 golfers. Sophomores Joe Zulli (Bellmawr, NJ/Paul VI) and Rob Burgess (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) each shot an 84 to tie for 40th place, while junior Brian Mason (Bridgeton, NJ/Bridgeton) tied for 43rd with a round of 85.
Competing as an individual was junior Mike Affannato (Washington Township, NJ/St. Augustine), who shot a 96 to tie for 52nd.
The conditions and scores were quite different earlier in the week. On a windy day that played havoc with the scores, Rutgers-Camden shot a 344 to tie for seventh place out of 16 teams at the Lebanon Valley College Spring Golf Tournament April 4. The event was held at the par 72 Lebanon Country Club in Lebanon, PA.
Moravian College won the event with a team score of 330, 33 strokes more than it carded in winning its own invitational April 1. Jim Becthel of Lycoming was the individual medalist with a 76. Only three strokes back, finishing third overall, was Rutgers-Camden’s Mason, who carded a 79.
Binder finished second on the team and tied for 39th overall out of 77 golfers, shooting an 88. Zulli shot an 89 to finish tied for 42nd, while Goff shot a 98 to tie for 61st place.
Rounding out the Rutgers-Camden team was Burgess, who shot a 103, tying for 70th.
TRACK & FIELD
Men: 1.Elizabethtown College, 158.50; 2. Gettysburg College, 102; 3. Juniata College, 74; 4. DeSales University, 73; 5. Messiah College, 69.50; 6. Dickinson College, 69; 7. McDaniel College, 58; 8. Houghton College, 44; 8. University of Mary Washington, 44; 10. York College, 34.50; 11. Lebanon Valley College, 31; 12. Thaddeus Stevens College, 22; 13. Albright College, 16.50; 14. Delaware Valley College, 9; 15. Goucher College, 8; 16. Gallaudet University, 2; 17. Rutgers-Camden, 1.
Women: 1. Messiah College, 110; 2. Gettysburg College, 107.50; 3. Dickinson College, 78; 4. University of Mary Washington, 75.50; 5. Elizabethtown College, 70.25; 6. Houghton College, 66; 7. New York University, 46; 8. Juniata College, 42; 9. Lebanon Valley College, 40; 10. Rutgers-Camden, 34 and Goucher College, 34; 12. DeSales University, 30; 13. Gallaudet University, 20; 14. Catholic University, 19; 15. York College, 16.50; 16. Albright College, 11; 17. McDaniel College, 10; 18. Mary Washington University, 9.
Rutgers-Camden School Records:
Senior Joelle Diener (Rickenbach, Switzerland/Kantonsschule Olten) set a Rutgers University-Camden women’s track record with a time of 19:38.00 at the Messiah Invititational April 9 in Grantham, PA.
Diener, who finished fourth in the event, narrowly broke the mark of 19:38.91 set by Tina DiGiovanni on April 3, 2004 in the Osprey Open at Richard Stockton College.
The Lady Raptors finished 10th out of 18 teams (34 points) in the event won by host Messiah College (110 points). In the men’s competition, Elizabethtown College scored 158.50 to beat a 17-team field. Rutgers-Camden finished last with one point.
The women also received outstanding efforts from junior Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) and freshman Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional). Zimmitt finished second in the 100-meter dash in a time of 13.18, trailing only Gettysburg’s Lauren Parker, who won the event in 13.08. Zimmitt also finished second in the long jump (16-08.75) and sixth in the triple jump (33-09.25).
Hafiz finished seventh in the 200-meter dash (27.65) and third in the triple jump (34-05.25).
The Lady Raptors also received a seventh-place performance in the discus (106-08) from sophomore Donna Kirk (Washington Township, NJ/Washington Township).
On the men’s side, sophomore Yaw Karikari (Iselin, NJ/Elmwood Park Memorial) competed in a pair of events, finishing 15th in the 100-meter dash (11.94) and 21st in the 200-meter dash (24.72).