Baseball: PSU Brandywine’s Late Comeback Surpasses Gothic Knights
DAVENPORT, Florida. –The University of New Jersey City baseball team was defeated today, March 7, by the Penn State Brandywine Lions in a home-and-away thriller. In the affair which saw four different lead changes, the PSUB were able to make a late comeback, beating the Verts et Or 8-5.
Trailed 1-0 going into the first half of the third inning, junior outfielder Bryan Fernandez (Sayreville, NJ/Sayreville War Memorial) kicked off the action for the team, starting the inning with a single down the left-field line, followed by a stolen base that put him in scoring position for the hottest hitter in the NJCU roster (1 -4), another junior outfielder Josh Hernandez (Lake Worth, FL/Park Vista Community). The fluidly swinging southpaw delivered again for Jersey City, burning a ball into the opposite field, scoring Fernandez and leveling the game. Hernandez now hits a team-high .412 in his first four starts for the Gothic Knights.
The NJCU wasn’t over there, as Hernandez continued the aggressive base run with a stolen base for himself, setting up a senior co-captain Ricky Voss (Eatontown, NJ/Monmouth area) to hit him. Voss did just that, sending a fly ball into left field to tag Hernandez and give Jersey City the opening 2-1 lead.
Gothic knights turned to the first year Andre Dean (Bloomfield, NJ/Bloomfield) to make his first career start for the team. The young Goth’s stat line wouldn’t necessarily show it, but Dean was impressive in his first start, despite three different NJCU errors. The freshman finished his rainy afternoon with 4.1 innings pitched, four strikeouts and two walks.
After a 1-2-3 inning from Dean, NJCU put pressure on PSUB again, this time it was the senior receiver Mitchell Leslie (Gibbstown, NJ/Gloucester Tech)who made his first start of the season behind the plate after returning from injury, and sophomore slugger Ali Pompey (Belle Meade, NJ/Trenton Catholic). Leslie started the top half of fourth with a flare left, then advanced to second after another stolen base by Jersey City. Leslie didn’t have to wait long to make the rounds of goal, with Pompey finding the right line for a brace, driving the senior home and extending the lead to 3-1.
The Lions didn’t leave without a roar, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the fourth to regain the lead. As previously stated, both teams went back and forth and that didn’t change going into the fifth.
NJCU fought back with two runs, reclaiming the lead at 5-4. The rally was kicked off by Hernandez and Voss, who started the round with back-to-back marches. Gothic Knights put pressure after junior Jimmy Vizzoni (Hamilton, NJ/Trenton Catholic) and Leslie notched hard-hit balls into the infield, prompting a throwing error from Brandywine that put New Jersey City back in the lead 5-4 heading into the bottom half of the fifth.
The Lions’ offense was too much for the team, however, as they dumped four runs in the fifth and sixth innings, and ultimately won the seven-inning game, 8-5.
– Jersey City finished the game with seven stolen goals, the most they had in a game during the 2021-22 season.
– In addition, the team managed to put the ball in play, taking out only three times as a team.
Match two of today’s doubleheader has been postponed due to rain, with a make-up date to be determined which will return to the North East later this season. For now, NJCU returns to the field tomorrow, Tuesday, March 8, but this time the team will travel to Auburndale, Fla. to take on Ohio Northern University at Lake Myrtle Complex. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.