Baseball drops home final late

JERSEY CITY, NJ – The New Jersey City University baseball team concluded its 2022 home campaign today, April 29, with a late-inning loss to New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival Rutgers-Newark . Looking to avenge their loss to the Scarlet Raiders yesterday, the Gothic Knights came out sizzling and took a 6-1 lead early in the fifth as rookies. Andre Dean (Bloomfield, NJ/Bloomfield) had a career-high 10 strikeouts, but a Rutgers comeback and Jersey City late-inning error gave the road team an 8-6 victory at home.

Jersey City (14-25, 3-14 NJAC) handed the ball to Dean to make his eighth start of the season. The right-hander has thrived in his rookie season, going at least 5.0 or more innings in five of his eight starts, is first on the team with 46.0 innings and leads the team with 33 outs in stick. The Bloomfield native struck out five Scarlet Raiders (14-18, 4-12 NJAC) in the first three innings, giving the Gothic Knight bats momentum. JC entered the board first in the second, with senior Mitchell Leslie (Gibbstown, NJ/Gloucester Tech) and second Justin Moreno (Brooklyn, NY/Trenton Catholic) grab the basic strikes. After Moreno was caught stealing, Junior Jon Taylor (Englewood, NJ/Dwight Morrow) maintained the rally by drawing a march. The head coach jerry smith hit a double steal attempt and Mitchell and Taylor’s aggressive base run allowed the former to score.

Rutgers-Newark finally got to Dean in the fourth, scoring on a sack fly and tying the game at 1-1. Jersey City wasted no time in fighting back and took a 5-1 lead late in the fourth and fifth. The two-man rally started with three consecutive free passes fired by Moreno, Taylor and sophomore Ricky Tuero (West New York, NJ/Memorial), who made his first start of the season behind home plate. With the bases loaded, the races began to arrive, starting with the second year David Duran (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) knock out Moreno on a hit. Back to the top of the order, junior Josh Hernandez (Lake Worth, FL/Park Vista Community) extended his on-base streak to 16 games by bringing in Tuero and Taylor. To cap the flurry of goals, it was senior Ricky Voss (Eatontown, NJ/Monmouth area), collecting his 44th RBI of the season to rank second in NJAC. In the fitth, Leslie burned a ball to left field and then scored on a Moreno sack-fly to extend NJCU’s lead, 5-1. Leslie would score again in the next inning after hitting a hit, stealing a second, advancing via fly ball from a freshman Matt Kaliske (Forked River, NJ/Lacey Township) and flew home on a Moreno sac-fly.

The Scarlet Raiders exploded for five runs and tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the seventh to force Dean out. Coming to take out the heat final and keep the lead was a freshman Frank Shipman (Edison, NJ/Edison), who earned the strikeout. The right-hander won an eighth inning 1-2-3 to draw a tie heading into the first half of the ninth. Rutgers-Newark was able to get a runner and eventually took the lead on an error from Gothic Knight on the left. The visitors closed the door on Jersey City in the bottom half to seal the 8-6 victory.

The team will wrap up the NJAC regular season tomorrow, April 30, in Wayne, NJ to take on William Paterson University. The first pitch of the doubleheader is set for 11:30 a.m.

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