NJIT Athletics – Issue 9

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NJIT Athletics

Julia Garcia Takes Home Silver at 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships

NJIT freshman Julia Garcia made history, placing second in the women’s epee event at the 2015 NCAA Fencing Championships held at Ohio State in St. John Arena Sunday afternoon.Garcia, a freshman from Madrid, Spain, is the first female fencer to compete in the National Championship and becomes the newest NJIT All-American.The freshman, who is ranked the No. 1 junior women’s epee fencer in Spain, faced No.1 seed Victoria Wines of Cornell in the Top 4.  Garcia defeated Wines, 15-11, advancing to the gold medal bout.In the finals, Garcia dropped a 15-6 decision to eventual winner Isis Washington of St. John’s to earn a silver medal.After Round 4Julia was 13-6 and seeded 3rdZuikova of St. Johns: W 5-4Foster of Northwestern: L 3-5Barrett of Northwestern: W 5-1Washington of St. Johns: L 1-5After Round 5Julia was 15-8 and seeded 4th, qualifying her for the final four.Ford of Princeton: L 2-5Van Brummen of Princeton: L 4-5Severson of Notre Dame: W 5-4Ameli Notre Dame: W 5-4As a team, NJIT combined for 41 points in the championships for a school-record 14th place in the nation.

NJIT and Niagara Split Sunday Doubleheader

NJIT absorbed a frustrating 8-5 loss in the 9-inning first game of Sunday’s baseball doubleheader vs. visiting Niagara at Riverfront Stadium, but the Highlanders roared back to win the 7-inning nightcap, 7-1. The teams had been scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, but the field was unplayable following the winter storm on Friday into Saturday overnight. The Saturday cancellations were the ninth and 10th this season for NJIT. The doubleheader split in Sunday’s home-opening date, left NJIT with a 6-6 record, while Niagara, more accustomed to weather-related early-season disruptions in Western New York, is 3-12. NJIT has splits in all three of the doubleheaders it has gotten in and the Highlanders have not won more or lost more than two in a row so far. Niagara, which swept four home games from NJIT to close out the 2014 season, won its fifth straight in the all-time baseball series by taking Sunday’s opener, 8-5. The Purple Eagles fell behind 4-0 in the first two innings, but then scored eight unanswered runs before NJIT plated a run and loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. The game ended on a pickoff play at third base and the visitors escaped, 8-5. NJIT, which had scored four times in the second inning of the opener, had another quick start in the second game, notching two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The score remaining 2-0 through four innings, but NU tightened matters with a run in the top of the fifth inning. NJIT got the run back in the bottom of the frame and then poured across four runs in the bottom of the sixth and the closed out with a 7-1 win in the game, which was scheduled for seven innings. Game OneNJIT broke through with four runs in the bottom of the second inning. 1B Johnny Malatesta and LF Evan Pietronico each singled to open the frame. 2B Rex MacMillanthen reached base on a error as NU misplayed his sacrifice bunt and RF Jesse Uttendorfer followed with a two-run single. Later, 3B Mike Rampone and DH Stephan Halibej delivered RBI singles. Niagara surged into the lead with a five-run top of the fourth inning with the five runs scoring without benefit of a hit. NJIT’s starting pitcher, Joe Fasano, who had blanked the Purple Eagles on two hits through three innings, ran into quick trouble in the fourth, when he hit the first batter, SS Thomas Rodrigues with a pitch. Rodrigues stole second base and the next batter walked. After a sacrifice bunt, Fasano hit DH Tyler Lau with a pitch to load the bases. Fasano then hit his third batter of the inning, C Joel Brophy, forcing in the first NU run. Brophy was also Fasano’s last batter, as freshman RHP Tommy Derer came on for the Highlanders with the bases loaded and one out. Derer struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches, but then walked 3B Tanner Kirwer to force in another Purple Eagle run. The next batter, 2B Geoff Seto, hit a line drive right at the NJIT left fielder, but the ball sailed past him for an error. The three Niagara base runners, moving on contact with two out, all scored easily for unearned runs. Derer got a fly ball out to finally halt the damage and end the half-inning. Niagara added a run in the top of the sixth inning and two more in the sixth, extending its lead to 8-4. Two runs scored on sacrifice flies and a third scored on a wild pitch. NJIT threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning, scoring a run and loading the bases with two outs only to have Niagara end the game with a pickoff, catcher-to-third base, for the final out. After an out in the ninth, SS Bryan Haberstroh singled and Rampone walked. Halibej’s fly out moved Haberstroh to third base. C Cody Kramer walked, loading the bases, and Malatesta beat out an infield single to drive in NJIT’s first run since the second inning. Niagara C Joel Brophy, detecting Rampone too far off base, snapped a throw to third base for the game-ending pickoff. The win went to Niagara starter Zachary Kolodziejski (2-2). The freshman right-hander who gave up four runs and five hits to the Highlanders in the second inning, settled down and finished with 6.1 innings pitched, allowing just the four runs (two earned) on nine hits, with two strikeouts and no walks. Daniel Procopio, who allowed a hit to the only batter he faced after entering with the bases loaded in the ninth, got credit for the save. The fifth NJIT run was charged to the second NU pitcher, Matt McCuen, whose line was 2.1 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. The loss went to the first NJIT reliever, Derer, who pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed one unearned run, but had the misfortune to become the pitcher of record when his run, which came in on the bases-clearing outfield error, was the run that put the visitors in the lead to stay. Fasano, the NJIT starter, went 3.1 innings and allowed two hits and four runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out one. He was hurt by the three hit batsmen in Niagara’s five-run fifth inning. Justin Chin, the third pitcher for the Highlanders, allowed five hits and three runs in two innings, while Sean Lubreski was strong finishing up, blanking Niagara on two hits over three innings. At the plate, Niagara CF Anthony Firenzi was 3-for-4, including a double. The shortstop Rodrigues was 2-for-3. NJIT, which lost despite getting 13 hits, got three from Uttendorfer and two each from  Haberstroh, Rampone, Malatesta, and Pietronico. Game TwoNJIT’s junior LHP Ian Bentley (2-2) didn’t need much help, tossing the 7-inning complete-game win, allowing 3 hits and a run. His only blemish was 4 walks. Bentley got plenty of support, as the Highlanders began the 7-inning nightcap with a pair runs in the bottom of the first inning.  With one out, Haberstroh singled and if Rampone felt any frustration with the way the first game ended, he took it out on Niagara in the second game, going 3-for-4 with 3 runs batted in. Rampone began with a double into the gap in right center, pushing Haberstroh to third base. NJIT got its first run when Haberstroh crossed the plate after a wild pitch.  Halibej walked for the Highlanders and then the second run came when Kramer grounded to second base with one out. Rampone, on third base, scored before Niagara could tag Halibej for the final out. The Purple Eagles got their first run and first hit off of Bentley when Firenzi hit a one-out solo home run over the left center field fence in the top of the fifth inning. NJIT got the run back quickly in the bottom of the fifth inning when Rampone singled up the middle, brining home Charlton with one out. The Highlanders tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, with Rampone belting a 2-run double, Uttendorfer singling home another run and freshman LF Matt McKinnon getting his first college RBI when he executed a squeeze bunt. In addition to Rampone’s 3-for-4 in the nightcap, which made him 5-for-7 on the day, NJIT got a 2-for-2 from McKinnon and an a 2-for-3 from Uttendorfer in the second game. Uttendorfer, like Rampone, was 5-for-7 in the doubleheader. Niagara had just three hits, two singles and the Rienzi home run. The Purple Eagles used three pitchers and the starter sophomore RHP Liam Stroud (0-3) took the loss after allowing two runs in four innings. NJIT will stay in New Jersey for its next game, when the Highlanders visit Rutgers on Tuesday at 3:30 pm.

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