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College Baseball:
Painter, unearned runs help Rutgers-Camden top DeSales

Saturday, March 24, 2007

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

CAMDEN - Rutgers University-Camden freshman designated hitter Paul Painter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and the Scarlet Raptors turned six DeSales errors into eight unearned runs as they defeated the Bulldogs, 10-4, in a non-conference game here Saturday.

The contest was the first for both teams in over a week, since their spring break trips to Arizona. Rutgers-Camden improves to 9-7 with its second straight win, while DeSales falls to 5-4, snapping a four-game winning streak.

The game was a pitchers’ duel between Rutgers-Camden senior Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) and DeSales sophomore James Niesuchouski (Chester, VT/St. Dominic) for the first four innings, with the teams locked in a 1-1 tie. In the bottom of the fifth, however, Rutgers-Camden plated four runs, aided by three hits and three errors, to take a 5-1 lead. The Raptors blew the game open in the sixth, scoring five unearned runs on four hits and three more DeSales errors.

Ronca, who raised his record to 3-1, worked six innings of two-hit ball, allowing one run (earned) and one walk. He struck out five, moving past two players into fifth place on the career strikeout list with 146.

Niesuchouski suffered his first loss of the year, dropping to 2-1, despite allowing only two earned runs out of his five runs. He worked five innings, allowing six hits and four walks, while fanning two.

Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good in the fifth after a leadoff single by senior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional). He stole second and remained there when senior third baseman Mark Wickersham (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) reached on an infield error. After a wild pitch, Buchter scored on a fielder’s choice by senior first baseman Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI), with Wickersham erased on the bases.

The Raptors loaded the bases on a single by senior catcher Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) and a bunt single by junior right fielder Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township). Painter followed with a sacrifice fly that was dropped in left field for an error, allowing two runs to score. A fielder’s choice by freshman second baseman Dennis O’Hanlan (Riverside, NJ/Riverside) scored another run when the throw from third base was dropped at the plate after a tag play on Midili.

The Raptors’ five-run sixth inning, off freshman Joe Walsh (Green Brook, NJ/Watchung Hills) was enabled by a one-out dropped fly ball in right field. One out later, Midili singled home a run, Painter hit a two-run double and both O’Hanlan and junior shortstop Shawn Park (West Berlin, NJ/St. Joseph-Hammonton) added RBI singles.

For the game, Park, Wickersham, Midili and Painter each had two hits, with Painter driving home three runs. Midili’s hits increased his team-high hitting streak to five games.

For DeSales, sophomore third baseman Mike Pennington (Dresher, PA/LaSalle College) went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, including a two-run double in the ninth inning.

Photos by Hugh Tsung

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