North Branch, NJ – The RVCC Baseball team hosted Delaware Technical Community College for their home opener this Sunday March 24th for a double header. Both games turned out to be very competitive and tightly contested with the visiting team taking the first game and RVCC bouncing back to win the second.
Freshman, Matthew Piro took the mound for the first game and blanked Del Tech in the top of the first. The Lions got their bats going early as they held a 6-1 lead after the second inning. The hurler from Jackson had two K's and only allowed 4 runs going into the 6th inning before Del Tech started to heat up. Freshman, Paul Hamilton had two 3 run homers, went 3-4 on the day, and had a team high 8 RBI's. Hamilton sent his two blasts to dead center field, the deepest part of RVCC's ballpark. Sophomore Joe DeRosa also went 3-4 with one bomb and 3 RBI's. Freshman, Andrew Grasso, was the other Lion to register an RBI as he finished up 1-2 in the first game. RVCC saw their lead in the top of the seventh turn into a 5 run deficit, however the Lions refused to give up. After Grasso registered an RBI, Hamilton smacked his second three-run homer of the game to pull RVCC within one. The comeback effort fell just a bit short as the Lions ended up losing 14-13. RVCC finished with 12 hits in the game. Jason Cuba finished with 2, Sal Assante had 1, and Anthony Hartmann contributed 2 hits as well.
Freshman, Ian Smoke started on the bump for the Lions in game two which turned out to be more of a defensive battle. Smoke allowed only 5 earned runs in six innings pitched and struck out two. Offensively, Anthony Hartmann went 3-3 on the day to lead the Lions. Andrew Grasso went 2-4 with 2 RBI's, Sal Assante finished 1-4 with an RBI, Christopher Lombardi went 2-3 with 1 RBI, and Joe DeRosa and Ryan Galpin each went 1-3. The Lions found themselves up again in the top of the seventh when Del Tech started to make things interesting. With runners on first and second the visiting team scored to pull within one run. Sal Assante came in for relief and managed to get the next two batters out to seal the deal for the Lions as they won 6-5.
With the win, RVCC improves to 3-5 and 1-1 in Region XIX play while Del Tech moves to 12-6-1 and 4-2 in Region XIX. The Lions have a quick turnaround as they host Sussex County College on Tuesday March 26th in a double header starting at 2 PM.