Monday, February 27, 2006
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Junior center fielder Nate Buchter had a career day in the home opener for the Rutgers-Camden baseball team Feb. 25. In the Raptors’ only game of the week, Buchter went 5-for-5 with two RBIs and six runs scored, one shy of the single-game program record, as Rutgers-Camden ripped John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 23-0. Through the first two games of the season, Buchter is hitting .857 (6-for-7).
BASEBALL (1-1 overall/0-0 NJAC)
After a snowy start to the season in Virginia, where two of the three games were cancelled at the Hampden-Sydney Tournament Feb. 17-19, the Rutgers-Camden baseball team played its home opener Feb. 25, and the Scarlet Raptors came out with their bats blazing.
Junior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) went 5-for-5 and scored six runs to power a 19-hit onslaught, and junior left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) added two hits and five RBIs as Rutgers-Camden posted a 23-0 victory over John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
It was the Raptors’ most runs since a 23-4 five-inning win over Lincoln University April 9, 2002. The 23 runs tied that Lincoln game for the fourth-highest run total in program history, three behind the team record.
Rutgers-Camden evened its record at 1-1, while John Jay is 0-1 after its season opener.
Senior ace Tom Ford (Laurel Springs, NJ/Paul VI) picked up the victory with five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and one walk, while striking out nine to tie his career high. Ford had only one jam as he worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the first, which was aided by a pair of infield hits sandwiched around a walk. He struck out the side in that inning.
Rutgers-Camden scored all the runs it needed in the bottom of the first following a leadoff triple by senior shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon). He scored on a ground out by sophomore right fielder Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township). Senior first baseman Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional), who went 3-for-6 with four runs and two RBIs in the game, followed with a single to right field and scored on a triple by junior designated hitter Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI). Following a walk to Buchter, sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) singled home Amato. Morris plated the final run on a ground out.
The Raptors added four more runs in the third inning on a bases-clearing triple by Morris down the right field line. He scored on a double by senior third baseman Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon).
An infield throwing error and a run-scoring single by Buchter sparked a three-run fourth inning, and the Raptors added four-run frames in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings. The sixth inning was sparked by RBI singles from freshman DH Bobby Petronis (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic) and Buchter and a two-run triple from senior second baseman Nick Faragasso (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic).
Calloway had a two-run single in the eighth inning.
For the game, Buchter had five hits, Calloway had three and Morris added two. Buchter’s six runs were one shy of the program record of seven by Kris Giangreco against Trenton State (April 19, 1996), while Calloway scored four times and Straga added three runs.
Morris led the RBI parade with five, while Inkster added three, two coming on a pair of sacrifice flies which tied a program single-game record, accomplished four times. The last person to do it was Ricky Flores against FDU-Florham May 11, 2003.
John Jay junior John Dobkowski took the loss, working three innings and allowing seven hits, eight runs (seven earned) and three walks. He struck out two.
Ford collected the win with his five scoreless innings and combined with freshman Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville), junior Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley Regional), freshman Pat Faulls (Laurel Springs, NJ/Highland) and sophomore Steven Sooy (Millville, NJ/Millville) for the shutout.
Junior second baseman James DeCesare went 3-for-3 for John Jay, while sophomore center fielder Kenneth Sepulveda went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases.
The Raptors entertain Haverford College Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Bloodhounds face Cornell College March 5 to begin a seven-game southern trip to Clearwater, Florida.
Fri. 3 vs. Wilkes University (PA) 11 a.m.
After back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament, the Lady Raptors open their 2006 campaign as the ninth-ranked team in Division III when they face Wilkes University March 3 in the first game of the Atlantic vs. East Tournament. Rutgers-Camden returns eight letterwinners, including senior pitcher Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights), who captured First Team All-American honors last year.