SJSports Online
High School Baseball

Baseball Leagues

Baseball Links

College Baseball:
Raptor of the Week: Damien Wright

Monday, April 9, 2007

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville)

Sophomore southpaw Damien Wright hurled two-hit shutout ball into the ninth inning April 7 to lead the Rutgers-Camden baseball team over Montclair State, 5-2, for the Scarlet Raptors' first New Jersey Athletic Conference win of the season. Wright worked 8.1 innings, allowing just two hits and a pair of unearned runs in the ninth while collecting his first win of the season. He scattered seven walks and struck out three in shutting down the hard-hitting Red Hawks.

BASEBALL (10-13/1-6 NJAC)

Wed. 4 Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham, ppd. TBA
Fri. 6* Richard Stockton College 8, Rutgers-Camden 1
Sat. 7* Rutgers-Camden 5-8, Montclair State University 2-26

Upcoming Games
Mon. 9 Catholic University (DH) 3:30 p.m.
Thurs. 12 at The College of New Jersey 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 14* at Rutgers-Newark (DH) 12 p.m.
Sun. 15 at Arcadia University 1 p.m.
Tues. 17 at Gwynedd-Mercy College 3 p.m.
Thurs. 19* at William Paterson University 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 20* The College of New Jersey 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 21* New Jersey City University (DH) 12 p.m.
Tues. 24 John Jay College 4 p.m.
Thurs. 26* Rowan University 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 27* William Paterson University 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 28* at Kean University (DH) 12 p.m.

Tues. 1 Delaware Valley College 7 p.m.

The Scarlet Raptors posted their first New Jersey Athletic Conference win of the season, but also lost a pair of NJAC games during the week to fall to 1-6 in the conference. Rutgers-Camden lost a home game against Richard Stockton College April 6 by an 8-1 score before splitting a conference twinbill at Montclair State University April 7. The Raptors won the first game, 5-2, behind an outstanding pitching performance from sophomore southpaw Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville). They lost the second game, 26-8.

In addition to Wright’s pitching, freshman shortstop Dennis O’Hanlan (Riverside, NJ/Riverside) went 3-for-5 with three RBIs as the Scarlet Raptors won the opener against Montclair State. The Red Hawks bounced back with a vengeance in the nightcap, ripping 23 hits on their way to a 26-8 victory.

In the opener, Wright earned his first win of the season by working 8.1 innings, allowing only two hits and a pair of unearned runs in the ninth. He walked seven and struck out three.

Wright held the Red Hawks scoreless until a runner reached base on a one-out error in the ninth inning. Sophomore Adam Sanchez (Leominster, MA/Worcester Academy) relieved Wright and allowed a walk, a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single before nailing down the final out.

The Scarlet Raptors scored an unearned run in the third inning, which was sparked by a leadoff single from freshman right fielder Steve Myers (Millville, NJ/Millville).

Myers and sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) each singled with one out in the fifth inning, setting the stage for O’Hanlan’s RBI single to left field. The Raptors added a pair of unearned runs in the sixth on two errors, a single by freshman catcher Vince Giunta (Sewell, NJ/Clearview) and a two-run single by O’Hanlan.

O’Hanlan had three hits and three RBIs for the Scarlet Raptors, while senior designated hitter Mark Wickersham (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson), Giunta and Myers each added two hits.

After collecting only three hits in the opening game, Montclair State exploded for 23 in the nightcap off six Rutgers-Camden pitchers. The Red Hawks rolled up 26 runs, the most allowed by the Raptors since a 27-4 loss to Richard Stockton College on April 13, 1999. It was the third-highest total ever allowed by Rutgers-Camden, with only the Stockton game and a 32-8 loss to William Paterson (April 29, 1995) producing more runs.

The Red Hawks scored three runs in the first inning and added four in the second to grab a 7-0 lead. Rutgers-Camden, however, cut the gap to 7-4 with a four-run third, highlighted by an RBI single from O’Hanlan and a two-run double by senior left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township).

The Red Hawks added two runs in the third, but the Raptors rallied with a four-run fifth, making it a 9-8 contest. The frame featured RBI singles by senior designated hitter Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), Giunta and freshman first baseman Dan Stuhlemmer (Collingswood, NJ/Camden Catholic).

Montclair State answered with a 10-run fifth inning to blow the game open. The Red Hawks sent 14 batters to the plate and collected nine hits, sparked by a two-run single from freshman second baseman Marc Palestina. Freshman shortstop Andrew Himmelfarb added an RBI double and senior left fielder Rick Bowness had a two-run home run. Junior first baseman Lou Politan had a single and a two-run double in the big frame.

Montclair State added a seven-run frame in the eighth inning, aided by a two-run single from Bowness, who went 5-for-6 with four RBIs in the game. He tied an MSU single-game record with five runs scored.

Politan finished the game 4-for-6 with two runs and three RBIs for the Red Hawks. Himmelfarb and senior catcher Jeff Miller both added three hits for Montclair State.

Rutgers-Camden received two hits apiece from O’Hanlan, Stuhlemmer, Myers and senior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional).

On April 6, Stockton collected 12 hits and eight stolen bases as it raced past Rutgers-Camden, 8-1, at Campbell’s Field April 6. On a cold, windy day, the Ospreys turned up the heat quickly, scoring three runs in the first inning on three hits, a walk and five stolen bases. Sophomore center fielder Chris Discher opened the frame with a single, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. With one out, junior shortstop Pat Goodwin walked and executed a double steal, with Discher scoring. Senior left fielder Mike Liquori singled home Goodwin, stole second and scored on a single by freshman third baseman Matt Allen. Allen added his own stolen base before the side was retired.

Freshman southpaw Matt Hunt worked six innings of three-hit ball to earn the victory. He walked five, struck out five and allowed just one earned run in raising his record to 2-0. Both of his wins have come against Rutgers-Camden.

Sophomore Drew Slickmeyer worked the final three innings to collect his first save, holding the Raptors scoreless on one hit.

For the game, Discher went 3-for-5 with one run and two RBIs for the Ospreys. Junior right fielder Joe Sacerdote, Liquori, Allen and sophomore first baseman Matt Herrmann each had two hits for Stockton.

Rutgers-Camden’s lone run came in the sixth inning on a two-out RBI single by Terrill.

Scarlet Raptors senior starter Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) took the loss, allowing all 12 hits and eight runs (seven earned) in eight innings. Ronca, 3-2, walked three and struck out four.

SOFTBALL (15-11/3-3 NJAC)

Tues. 3* Rutgers-Camden 1-1, Ramapo College 0-3
Fri. 6 Rutgers-Camden 2-8, College of Staten Island 3-0 (second game six innings)
Sat. 7* Montclair State University 7-4, Rutgers-Camden 4-3

Upcoming Games
Tues. 10* at The College of New Jersey (DH) 3 p.m.
Wed. 11 Neumann College (DH) 6 p.m.
Sat. 14* Kean University (DH) 1 p.m.
Tues. 17* Richard Stockton College (DH) 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 21* at William Paterson University (DH) 1 p.m.
Tues. 24* Rowan University (DH) 3:30 p.m.
Thurs. 26 at Hunter College (DH) 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 28* at Rutgers-Newark (DH) 1 p.m.

After a 15-day layoff between their spring break trip to Florida and the resumption of their northern schedule, the defending national champion Rutgers-Camden softball team returned to a regular-season routine in a hurry. The Lady Raptors played three doubleheaders in five days, splitting home twinbills against 12th-ranked Ramapo College April 3 (winning 1-0 and losing 3-1) and the College of Staten Island April 6 (losing 3-2 and winning 8-0 in six innings), before dropping a doubleheader at No. 23 Montclair State University April 7 (7-4 and 4-3).

In the last of those doubleheaders, Montclair State left fielder Kelly Karp drove in three runs in the opener and freshman first baseman Amanda Livsey had three RBIs in the nightcap for the Red Hawks.

Sophomore shortstop Jennifer Jimenez belted her seventh home run of the year and added a single for MSU in the opening game. Rutgers-Camden held a 2-1 lead after two innings, but the Red Hawks regained the advantage in the bottom of third inning as Maureen Shockley led off with a single and came around to score on a two-run home run by Jimenez.

Rutgers-Camden freshman second baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) answered with her own home run in the top of the fourth inning to knot the score at 3-3. Skroski, who has six homers on the season, had two hits in the game.

MSU took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning as Shockley brought home the go-ahead run with a double and Karp cracked a bases-loaded double to give Montclair a 7-3 lead.

Lady Raptors senior Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace) doubled home a run in the top of the seventh and Rutgers-Camden brought the tying run to the plate before MSU righthander Carolyn McCrea nailed down the win with a strikeout.

McCrea improved to 15-1 as she allowed four runs (three earned) and nine hits. She struck out eight and walked three. Lady Raptor sophomore Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) took the loss. Van Cleef (5-3) allowed three runs and three hits in three innings of relief. She struck out two and walked one.

Shockley, Jimenez and Megan Tantum each had two hits for Montclair while Farrell, Skroski and Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) had two apiece for the Scarlet Raptors. Giles raised her career hit total to 96, four shy of becoming the eighth Raptor to reach 100 career hits.

In the nightcap, Rutgers-Camden led 1-0 in the fourth before Montclair scored three times to take the lead. Karp’s infield single loaded the bases and all three runners came home as Livsey doubled to right-center to give MSU a 3-1 lead.

After the Red Hawks added another run in the fifth on Shockley’s RBI double, Rutgers-Camden rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior shortstop Kim Zlupko (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make the score 4-2. McCrea entered the game in relief and walked senior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) to force in another run, making it 4-3.

The Raptors put the tying run on base in each of the last two innings, but McCrea nailed down the save for senior righthander Dana Warnock. Warnock (7-1) worked 4.1 innings, allowing two hits and three runs. She struck out five and walked four. Farrell took the loss, falling to 5-3. She allowed the four run on six hits with a strikeout and two walks.

In a non-conference home doubleheader against Staten Island the night before the MSU games, sophomore pitcher Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) hurled a two-hit shutout and Giles went 4-for-4 to help the Lady Raptors salvage a split with an 8-0 second-game win in the nightcap.

In the opening game, Dolphins freshman left fielder Jennifer Volpe hit the first home run of her career to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh inning, sparking Staten Island to a 3-2 victory. She led off the top of the seventh inning by drilling her home run to left field.

Staten Island took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on three hits, including an RBI single by junior center fielder Michele Mazza and a run-scoring double by freshman designated player Stefanie Allen.

The Lady Raptors scored unearned runs in both the third and fourth innings to tie the game, setting up Volpe’s game-winning home run.

Senior pitcher Christina D’Arpa hurled a six-hitter, walking three and striking out two. Both runs off D’Arpa were unearned as she evened her record at 4-4.

Volpe went 3-for-3 with two runs and the game-winning RBI, while sophomore shortstop Nicole Estrada went 2-for-3 for the Dolphins.

For the Raptors, Giles was 2-for-2 with one run in the opener, while Farrell went 2-for-4 with a run.

The Lady Raptors won the second game in six innings, scoring four in the sixth to end the game early by the eight-run rule. Giles singled home the first run of the decisive inning, while Millett cleared the bases with a three-run double to end the game.

Millett, went 2-for-4 in the nightcap including an infield single in the third inning for her 167th career hit, passing the old program record of 166 by Celeste Chinappi (2002-05).

Giles, who went 4-for-4 with three runs and one RBI in the nightcap, finished her day going 6-for-6 with four runs and one RBI. She raised her batting average from .250 to .323.

Powell allowed only two hits in raising her record to 5-3. She hurled no-hit ball until Mazza poked a single to right field with two outs in the third inning. Mazza also singled in the fifth for the other Dolphin hit. Powell walked two and struck out five in her third shutout of the season.

In addition to Giles and Millett, senior catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) and Zlupko each had two hits apiece for the Lady Raptors.

The Lady Raptors finally played their home opener April 3 and had the chance to raise the 2006 national championship banner at their field before splitting an NJAC doubleheader with Ramapo College, winning 1-0 in the opener and losing the nightcap, 3-1.

Zlupko doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game before Ramapo senior Marissa Marino tossed a five-hitter to win the nightcap.

Rutgers-Camden won the opener behind a six-hit shutout from Farrell, which snapped Ramapo’s 10-game winning streak. The Roadrunners turned the tables in the second game, snapping the Raptors’ 11-game winning streak.

The opening game saw Farrell win a tight pitchers’ duel over Ramapo junior Katie Norton. Farrell hurled a six-hit shutout with one walk and four strikeouts. Norton allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out two.

The Raptors scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the seventh following a one-out single to right field by Farrell. Freshman Kate Braun (Audubon, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) was inserted as a pinch-runner and advanced to second on a two-out single by junior left fielder Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken). Zlupko followed with a game-winning double to left-center, plating Braun with the only run of the game.

Zlupko, a transfer from Neumann College who was playing her first home game at Rutgers-Camden, went 2-for-3 with the one RBI. For Ramapo, junior third baseman Lauren Cascino went 3-for-3 for half of the hits off Farrell.

Millett went 0-for-2 with a walk in the opener, snapping her 15-game hitting streak, which was two shy of the program record set by Celeste Chinappi in 2003. During that streak, Millett went 30-for-48 (.625) with 26 runs, 29 RBIs, six doubles and eight home runs.

Marino won the second game with a five-hitter, walking two and striking out one. She allowed only one fifth-inning run on an RBI single by Millett. Marino’s win snapped a 21-game regular-season NJAC winning streak for Rutgers-Camden, which hadn’t lost since a 1-0 defeat in the opening game at William Paterson University April 30, 2005. The Raptors tied the second game that day (1-1 in a darkness-shortened contest) before winning all 18 regular-season games last year and their first three NJAC contests this season.

Ramapo scored twice in the second inning, sparked by a walk to sophomore right fielder Marilee Farmer and an infield single by senior left fielder Leah Mondadori. After a ground out advanced the runners, sophomore catcher Kelly Schriber singled home Farmer and pinch-hitter Gemma Chalkley singled home Mondadori.

After the Raptors cut the gap to 2-1, Ramapo tacked on a run in the sixth inning following back-to-back singles by senior first baseman Beth Choma and Farmer and a sacrifice by Mondadori. Choma scored on a wild pitch. Farmer went 2-for-2 with one run in the nightcap.



Fri. 6 at Duke Invitational (Duke University, Durham, NC)

Rutgers-Camden School Records:

* Travis Stewart, 10,000 M, 32:28.35 (Old: 33:36.9 by Tom Thomasson at the Messiah Invitational, April 10, 1999)

Sat. 7 at Duke Invitational (Duke University, Durham, NC)

Rutgers-Camden School Records:

* 4x800 (Mike Fox, Stefon Coleman, Akeem Lloyd, Jonathan Salamon), 8:02.85 (Old: 9:30.68 by Chris McGowan, Matthew Weng, Darryl Mendillo and Patrick Eigbe, April 9, 2005 at the Messiah Invitational)

Sat. 7 at Osprey Open (at Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ
(at Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ)


Upcoming Meets

Sat. 14 at New Jersey Invitational
(at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ)

Thur. 26-at Penn Relays
Sat. 28 (at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)
Sat. 28 at Lions Invitational
(at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ)

5 NJAC Championships
(at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ)

The Rutgers-Camden track team sprinkled its talent throughout the East Coast last week as five members of the men’s team participated at the Duke Invitational April 6-7 at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, while the rest of the team ran at Richard Stockton College’s Osprey Open April 7.

Sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) set a Rutgers-Camden record in the 10,000-meter run April 6 and the Scarlet Raptors’ 4x800 relay team added a program record April 7 as they competed at the Duke Invitational.

Stewart finished 35th out of 49 runners from all NCAA divisions. He posted a time of 32:28.35 to shatter the old Scarlet Raptor record of 33:36.9 by Tom Thomasson. That mark was set at the Messiah Invitational April 10, 1999.

The Raptors shattered their 4x800 record on Saturday, posting a time of 8:02.85 to finish fifth out of eight teams, with most of them being Division I schools. The old program record of 9:30.68 was set on April 9, 2005 at the Messiah Invitational.

Members of the record-setting relay team included junior Mike Fox (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley), freshman Akeem Lloyd (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City) and sophomores Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) and Stefon Coleman (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove).

While the 4x800 was setting a record at Duke, eight members of the Rutgers-Camden track and field team competed at the Osprey Open Saturday at Richard Stockton College.

Competing for the Lady Raptors were freshmen Ayla Maldonado (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Nicole Racite (Audubon, NJ/Audubon). The men’s team included freshmen Jon Anderson (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Justin Edmonds (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown), sophomore Brandon Gordon (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township) and juniors Ian Chrzanowski (West Deptford, NJ/Gloucester Catholic), Patrick Eigbe (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) and Michael McClain (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep).

Maldonado finished fifth in the long jump (15-02.25) and ninth in the triple jump (30-05.75), while Racite was 12th in the 100-meter high hurdles (21.82).

For the men, Chrzanowski finished eighth in the discus (124-05) and 12th in the shot put (38-05.50) and Anderson was sixth in the javelin (164-07).

Edmonds finished 14th in the triple jump (39-07.25) and 16th in the long jump (18-06.00), while McClain was 22nd in the long jump (16-03.25).

Eigbe competed in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, finishing 24th in the 200 (24.68) and 23rd in the 400 (56.28).

Gordon was 15th in the 1,500-meter run, posting a time of 4:33.71.

The complete Rutgers-Camden track team returns to action Saturday, April 14, at the New Jersey Invitational, which will be held at The College of New Jersey in Ewing.


Sat. 7 Johns Hopkins Invitational (Baltimore, MD), cancelled, weather

Upcoming Regattas
Sat. 14- Knecht Cup
Sun. 15 (Cooper River, Pennsauken, NJ)
Sat. 28 Atlantic Collegiate League Sprints
(Gifford Pinchot State Park, Lewisberry, PA)



Mon. 2 Lebanon Valley College Spring Tournament
(Lebanon Country Club, Lebanon, PA)

1. Dickinson, 329; 2. Neumann, 331; 3. Elizabethtown, 332; 4. Messiah, 335; 5. (tie) Albright and Swarthmore, 336; 7. Keystone, 337; 8. (tie) Alvernia and Muhlenberg, 338; 10. (tie) Villa Julie and Widener, 339; 12. Ursinus, 341; 13. Delaware Valley, 342; 14. Moravian, 343; 15. Cabrini, 344; 16. Stevens, 345; 17. (tie) King’s, Lebanon Valley White and Rutgers-Camden, 353; 20. Philadelphia, 358; 21. Misericordia, 359; 22. Lebanon Valley Blue, 361; 23. Eastern, 379.

Individual Medalist: Bob Pyrz, Elizabethtown, 74

Rutgers-Camden Medalist: Dave Taraschi, 80
Rutgers-Camden Scores: Taraschi 80, Jim Spera 86, Matt Tomasic 92, Rob Burgess 95, Joe Midili 99

Thur. 5 Moravian College Spring Invitational
(Southmoore Golf Course, Bath, PA)

1. Keystone College, 319; 2. (tie) FDU-Florham and Widener University, 324; 4. Cabrini College, 326; 5. Dickinson College, 327; 6. Elizabethtown College, 328; 7. Moravian College, 329; 8. Alvernia College, 333; 9. Lebanon Valley College, 334; 10. Delaware Valley College, 340; 11. King’s College, 341; 12. Rutgers-Camden, 344; 13. Wilkes University, 345; 14. (tie) Messiah College and Penn State-Berks, 351; 16. University of Scranton, 352; 17. Albright College, 352; 18. Ursinus College, 353; 19. Centenary (NJ) College, 390. No Team Score: DeSales University.

Individual Medalist: Brian Bergstol, Moravian, 68
Rutgers-Camden Medalist: Dave Taraschi, 80
Rutgers-Camden Scores: Taraschi 80, Matt Tomasic 84, Rob Burgess 90, Jim Spera 90.

Upcoming Matches

Tues. 10 Widener Invitational II 1 p.m.
(The Springhaven Club, Wallingford, PA)

Wed. 18 Wesley College Invitational 12 p.m.
(Wild Quail Country Club, Wyoming, DE)

Fri. 27 RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Spring Invitational 12:30 p.m.
(Town & Country Golf Links, Woodstown, NJ)

The Rutgers-Camden golf team went from one extreme to another in its two matches last week.

On April 2, the Raptors shot a 353 on a spring-like day at the Lebanon Valley College Spring Tournament at the Lebanon Country Club in Pennsylvania. Three days later, Rutgers-Camden shot a 344 to finish 12th of 20 teams at the Moravian College Spring Invitational on a wind-whipped day that was closer to resembling winter.

Freshman Dave Taraschi (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield Memorial) shot an 80 at both invitationals to lead the Raptors’ team. His performance on April 2 came at the Par 72 Lebanon Country Club course to tie for ninth overall at the Lebanon Valley College Spring Invitational. The Scarlet Raptors tied for 17th in the 23-team event, which was won by Dickinson College with a score of 329.

Elizabethtown’s Bob Pyrz shot a 74 to earn the individual honors in a field of 116 golfers.

Junior Jim Spera (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) finished second on the Raptors with a round of 86, followed by seniors Matt Tomasic (Berlin, NJ/St. Augustine Prep) at 92 and Rob Burgess (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) at 95. Rounding out the Scarlet Raptors’ team was junior Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), who shot a 99 in his first outing of the spring.

Taraschi also shot an 80 at the Par 71 Southmoore Golf Course in Bath, Penn., to finish tied for 16th place at the Moravian College Spring Invitational. The event was won by Keystone College (319), while Brian Bergstol of host Moravian College shot a three-under-par 68 to earn the individual honors in a field of 92 golfers.

Tomasic finished second on Scarlet Raptors, and tied for 32nd overall, with an 84. Spera and Burgess tied for third on the team with rounds of 90.

Copyright South Jersey Sports Online Inc.