Baseball falls in non-conference thriller at Stevens
HOBOKEN, NJ – A career performance on the mound today, April 12, by junior Jon Taylor (Englewood, NJ/Dwight Morrow) and senior Mitchell Leslie (Gibbstown, NJ/Gloucester Tech) tying a career-high three hits wasn’t enough against Stevens Institute of Technology as the Ducks defeated the University of New Jersey City baseball team in a pitching thriller, 4-2. NJCU struck first in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead, but the Ducks offense was too much, taking the lead in the bottom half of the sixth and securing the victory by two runs.
Taylor finished his afternoon with a career-high 6.0 innings pitched, allowing five hits, while hitting three and giving up just two runs to Stevens (21-9). The right-hander also threw a career-high 98 in the loss and kept the game tied at 1-1 for most of the ball game, until the Ducks hit a hit in the sixth and finally the winning game. blow against the Gothic Knights (8-17).
The head coach jerry smith turned to a different formation today against the Ducks with a second shortstop Justin Moreno (Brooklyn, NY/Trenton Catholic) take first place. It was no surprise for the regular nine-hole hitter, as Moreno is currently on a five-game tear, going 9-for-18 (.500) with five RBIs and seven home runs. After Taylor failed three base runners in the first two innings, the Jersey City offense came to the plate looking to give their right-hander the lead. The green and gold gave Taylor the game’s first run support, with the new top end making its mark first. Moreno led the start of the third with a howler down the left field line, moving into scoring position with no one around. Moreno’s partner in the middle, in second year, has also progressed through the order of Gothic Knights. Ali Pompey (Belle Meade, NJ/Trenton Catholic), and the second baseman took advantage of his opportunity in the three holes by hitting Moreno via a laser on the right field line to give Jersey City a 1-0 lead. The NJCU weren’t able to hold the lead for long, with the Ducks coming right back and tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the third. The game remained calm, as Taylor did not allow a single hit in his next two innings of work. But, the Gothic Knight’s attack was also held aimless, with no hits during this streak.
As previously reported, Stevens’ offense resurrected in the final sixth, regaining a 2-1 lead after two-base hits against Taylor. The right-hander kept his cool, stranding three Duck baserunners and ending his afternoon with damage control and keeping the deficit to one point. In the next inning, Leslie led the first half of the seventh with a right single, but a Red and White pitching change kept the Gothic Knights in check, not allowing a run in the inning. Heading down the seventh and with the bullpen limited due to five games in the past four days, Coach Smith turned to the junior third baseman Jimmy Vizzoni (Hamilton, NJ/Trenton Catholic), who had not appeared on the mound since his freshman year against Trinity University (Texas). The slugger allowed just one run in the inning, keeping the NJCU within striking distance with two innings to go.
With just six outs to play, the junior outfielder Caleb Ware (Newark, NJ/University), who found himself in the lineup for the sixth straight game after hitting .437 in his last five, started by drawing a step, then used his speed to interrupt the rhythm of the duck thrower and caused a disallowance , moving into the goal position. Making most of the mistakes of the red and white defence, Ware stumbled on an error on a ground ball from Moreno, reducing the deficit to one point. Pompey and the junior center player revived the Gothic Knight rally Ricky Voss (Eatontown, NJ/Monmouth area)both reaching via free passes, but the Ducks both fell short, maintaining their 3-2 lead.
Stevens would bring one more point in the eighth, securing their 4-2 victory in the non-conference battle.
The NJCU will look to end its eight-game skid when the team returns to the field for a road game in Montclair, NJ on Thursday, April 14, to take on rival New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC), Montclair State University. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.