Wednesday, March 1, 2006
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN - The Rutgers University-Camden baseball team took advantage of three Haverford College errors to score six unearned runs in the fourth inning as the Scarlet Raptors rallied from a three-run deficit to a 10-3 victory in a non-conference game here March 1.
Rutgers-Camden improves to 2-1 with its second straight win. Haverford, which was playing its first game of the year, falls to 0-1.
The Fords, who entered the season in the "Others Receiving Votes" category of the Collegiate Baseball Division III pre-season national poll, built a 3-0 lead through the first 3-1/2 innings. In the third, senior left fielder Mike Primiani (Trevilians, VA/St. Andrew's School) and junior catcher Kenny McAlpine (Tallahassee, FL/Leon) drew back-to-back walks. Primiani scored on a single to center by junior third baseman Ryan Stephens (Bethesda, MD/Landon School).
Haverford added a pair of runs in the fourth on a single by senior designated hitter John Oh (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) and an opposite-field home run to right by senior right fielder Crispin Vary (Bethesda, MD/Landon School).
The game turned in the bottom of the fourth after Rutgers-Camden sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) reached on an error to open the frame. Following a ground out, Straga scored on a double to right-center by senior designated hitter Nick Faragasso (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic). Senior left fielder Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) followed with a single. When junior catcher Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) reached on an infield error, Faragasso scored to cut the gap to 3-2. Following a fielder's choice, senior shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) singled home the tying run. Sophomore right fielder Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) singled home the go-ahead run and another run scored on a throwing error to the plate. Senior first baseman Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) capped the big frame by singling to center, scoring Midili.
The Raptors added another unearned run in the fifth inning and Faragasso singled home a run in the sixth.
Rutgers-Camden capped the game with a two-run seventh inning, featuring two hits, a sacrifice fly by Calloway and a run-scoring passed ball. Calloway's sacrifice fly was the ninth of his career, setting a program record. He had been tied at eight with Brian Murphy (2001-04).
Jakubowski paced the Raptors' 15-hit attack, going 4-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Midili, Calloway, Faragasso and Turekian each added two hits.
Haverford managed only four hits off the combination of Raptor junior starter Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley Regional) and freshman reliever Damian Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville). Ronca (1-0) worked five innings, allowing all four hits, three earned runs and three walks, while striking out seven. Wright, in only his second collegiate appearance, was brilliant in picking up his first save. He retired all 12 batters he faced, striking out five, including the last man on a swinging third strike.
Fords junior Travis Zier (San Francisco, CA/Lick-Wilmerding) was the tough-luck loser, allowing six unearned runs in his two innings as the second of four Haverford pitchers.
The Raptors entertain Franklin & Marshall College Friday at 3 p.m. The Fords play their next nine games in Phoenix, Arizona, on their spring trip, including a doubleheader Sunday against Wisconsin Lutheran.