March 24, 2012

Owls Open Trip with 9-6 Loss

(CAMDEN, NJ) -- The Scarlet Raptors from Rutgers-Camden rallied from a 6-2 deficit of their own making to defeat the University of Maine-Presque Isle, 9-6.  The Owls scored all six of their runs in the second inning, aided by one hit, two hit batsmen, a walk and three errors. Five of the six runs off of Raptor senior starter Andrew Hoffman were unearned and he settled down to throw shutout ball the rest of the way, working 8-2/3 innings and allowing eight hits and two walks.

After being handed a four-run lead, it was the Owls who started giving away runs as the Raptors tied the game with a four-run seventh off of three Maine-Presque Isle pitchers. With one out, junior rightfielder Joe Sirolli was hit by a pitch, junior leftfielder Albert Rivera walked and senior shortstop Joe Merlino singled to load the bases. Andy Brown (So./Princeton, ME) relieved sophomore starter Dylan Worster (So./Howland, ME) and walked junior centerfielder Bruce Monro to force home a run. Senior second baseman Jon Hydock plated another run with a fielder's choice and stole second, ahead of a bases-loading walk to freshman third baseman Christopher Bell.

Freshman Ghazaleh Sailors (Fr./Santa Barbara, CA) relieved Brown and almost worked out of the jam, but a wind-blown popup by senior C.J. Mooney fell safely behind his first base counterpart for a two-run game-tying single.  A hit batsman followed before the final out was recorded.

Rutgers-Camden broke the tie with a three-run eighth, sparked by a leadoff double to center by Sirolli. A bunt single by Rivera put runners on the corners and brought in the fourth Owls pitcher of the day, sophomore Ryan Thompson (So./East Millinocket, ME). After a fly out and a stolen base by Rivera, Monro broke the tie with a two-run double to left-center. He advanced on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, the Owls brought the tying run to the plate after a walk and a single. Sophomore Dan Snyder relieved Hoffman and notched his third save with a swinging strikeout.

Merlino, Mooney and Sirolli paced the Raptors' 10-hit attack with two hits apiece. Monro collected three RBIs and Mooney added two, while Monro, Hydock and Sirolli each scored two runs.

UMPI rightfielder Shane Smith (So./Farmington, ME) and leftfielder Jake Fillebrown (Jr./Stoneham, ME) both had two hits and one run scored for Owls. Smith added one RBI on a bases-loaded walk in the big second inning.

Sailors (0-1) took the tough-luck loss, working one-third of an inning and allowing three hits – including the wind-blown two-run single – and two earned runs.

The loss drops UMPI to 1-10 on the season.  The Owls will return to action with a doubleheader against Washington College (MD) on Sunday, March 25th.