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03-10-12 NJCU Baseball vs. Daniel Webster

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Published on Mar 21, 2012

Archived broadcast of NJCU's 1-0 win over Daniel Webster College in Groveland, FL on March 10, 2012.

Play-by-Play Announcer: Ira Thor
Broadcast begins at the 1:02:00 mark

GROVELAND, FL (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Senior right-hander Nelson Maldonado (Newark, NJ/St. Mary's (Jersey City)) fired a complete-game four-hitter for his first career shutout and the game ended on a dramatic play at the plate as junior left fielder Andrew Rivera (Edison, NJ/Edison) hit the relay throw to third baseman Juan Cruz (Jersey City, NJ/St. Mary's (Jersey City)) setting up a perfect throw to sophomore catcher Mike Casiano (Newark, NJ/North 13th Street) who applied the game-ending tag as New Jersey City University edged Daniel Webster College, 1-0, in a pitcher's duel to open the 2012 baseball spring trip played at South Lake High School.

NJCU won its first game (1-1) and made first-year head coach Jerry Smith a winner for the first time. Daniel Webster (0-1) was making its 2012 debut after winning 20 games in 2011. It was the first meeting between the schools since a 13-5 NJCU win in 2001. The game was the first of eight for NJCU at the Russ Matt College Spring Break Invitational.

The 1-0 win was only the second 1-0 victory on record in the 65-year history of the program and the first since defeating Rhode Island College by that score in 1974—38 years ago.

Maldonado (1-0), who tossed his third consecutive complete game dating back to wins over Montclair State University (April 27, 2011) and Centenary College (May 3, 2011) to end his junior season, was in complete control, allow just four singles in his nine innings and 73 of his 104 pitches went for strikes. He struck out four and walked none (three hit batters) and possessed a two-hitter entering the ninth inning before sealing his fourth career complete game.

"I felt a lot of confidence," Maldonado said. "I took the game one pitch at a time and kept it simple. I just had all my stuff working for me, our defense helped out a lot and we got timely hits to win the game. A win like this where it goes down to the wire and your defense cannot make a mistake and we keep a 1-0 lead for two innings means the world for this team."

Maldonado, discussing the difference in his pitching since the middle of the 2011 season when he began emerging as a top starter, said: "I try to stay low in the zone and throw strikes. In the past I tried to pitch around guys. Now I pitch to contact and I'm a lot more competitive this way and stay in games longer."

The game was a true battle as DWC senior righty and ace Kory Kiro (Goffstown, NH), the Eagles' all-time wins leader (15-7) and a returning First-Team All-NECC pitcher (6-1 in 2011), threw 102 pitches in seven innings and allowed just five hits and with seven strikeouts and one walk. Junior Korey LeLievre (Hudson, NH) took the loss (0-1) and allowed two hits and one unearned run in two innings of relief (43 pitches) after seven innings as the right fielder.

Offensively for NJCU, freshman first baseman Alex Weinstein (Colonia, NJ/JFK-Iselin) was 3-for-4 with two steals and Rivera added a 2-for-4 effort while Casiano added his first career extra base hit with a double. Junior center fielder Michael Patterson (Piscataway, NJ/Piscataway) scored the only run of the game and had one hit.

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