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03-12-12 Baseball vs. Rhode Island

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Published on Mar 21, 2012

Archived broadcast of NJCU's 10-1 win over defending Little East Conference champion Rhode Island College in Winter Haven, FL on March 12, 2012

Play-by-Play Announcer: Ira Thor
Broadcast begins at the 1:36.53 mark

Junior right-hander Wendell Rodriguez (Ponce, Puerto Rico/County Prep) tossed seven solid innings for his first win of the season, the Gothic Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings and New Jersey City University defeated its second team that won at least 20 games last season as NJCU sank defending Little East Conference champion Rhode Island College, 10-1, in the third game of the 2012 spring baseball trip played at Chain of Lakes Park Field #5 on Monday afternoon.

NJCU improved to 2-2 overall with the win and 2-1 on the trip while snapping the Anchormen's four-game winning streak, which included a doubleheader sweep of NJCU's New Jersey Athletic Conference foe The College of New Jersey on Saturday. Rhode Island dropped to 4-2 overall.

NJCU stole six bags and had the leadoff batter reach base in seven of nine innings, and scored six of those seven runners as the Knights scored the first nine runs of the game before Rhode Island collected its only run on a seventh-inning error while attempting to turn a double play.

NJCU's opponents are hitting a lackluster .216 through four games and the Knights have a meager team ERA of 2.25. NJCU's 10 runs is one more than its total run production in the first three games of the year entering Monday's action.

First year NJCU pitching coach Nick Cesare discussed the early success of the pitching staff, saying "I think that the work that they've put in since we started in September through the fall semester and the offseason getting stronger to improve has paid off. I think every pitcher we have has improved significantly and the numbers that we're putting up through the first four games we've played so far show you what pitchers can do if they can locate all their pitches, they can move the ball around the zone and attack guys and have all their pitches working."

Rodriguez (1-1), who lost the season opener against Centenary College on March 7, lasting 2.2 innings, responded in style against perhaps the most talented team the Knights will face on their spring trip. In 7.0 innings, he allowed just one unearned run and seven hits—all singles—with one strikeout and two walks over 109 pitches. Junior lefty Pedro Garcia (North Bergen, NJ/Saint Joseph of the Palisades) was excellent in his first relief appearance of the season, striking out three and walking none in 2.0 innings, while allowing just one hit.

"Today he was much more relaxed and much more consistently within the zone," said Cesare. "All he does is throw strikes. When he throws strikes he's effectively. He gets ground out after ground out. He had 12 groundouts today. That's the type of pitcher he is. He gets guys to put the ball in play early in the count, keeps his pitch count down and gets deep into games because of it."

Freshman right fielder Matthew Wagner (Colonia, NJ/Colonia) made his second career start and had another multiple hit game, scoring four runs in a 2-for-4 effort with a double, while making five putouts in right field. He twice reached on an error and scored each time.

Freshman shortstop Michael Martucci (Bayonne, NJ/Saint Peter's Prep) was in the leadoff role for the first time as a Gothic Knight, going 3-for-5 with three steals, two RBIs, two runs and a double while junior center fielder Michael Patterson (Piscataway, NJ/Piscataway) was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, one steal and one run.

Junior left fielder Andrew Rivera (Edison, NJ/Edison) was 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run and rookie first baseman Alex Weinstein (Colonia, NJ/JFK-Iselin) added one RBI and made 10 putouts defensively. Junior designated hitter Ryan Winters (Hackettstown, NJ/Hackettstown) was 1-for-3 with one run and freshman third/first baseman Juan Cruz (Jersey City, NJ/St. Mary's (Jersey City)) had one run and one RBI and made an impressive bare-handed catch and throw at third. Freshman Kevin DeMauro (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) made his first start at second base and had seven assists.

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