JERSEY CITY, NJ –The New Jersey City University baseball team returned to the Thomas M. Gerrity Complex for the first time this month against New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival Montclair State University. NJCU had a chance to avenge yesterday’s loss to the Red Hawks with today’s home game, Friday, April 15, but fell again, 28-9. In this high-scoring affair, the team had 13 total hits, including 11 different Gothic Knights who recorded a hit.
Getting the ball for Jersey City (8-19, 0-8 NJAC) this afternoon was junior Justin Wiltsey (Hamilton Township, NJ/Hamilton West). It was the fifth start for the Hamilton Township native, tying a team high with his right-handed compatriot Andre Dean (Bloomfield, NJ/Bloomfield). Similar to yesterday afternoon’s game, the Red Hawks (21-7, 7-1 NJAC) jumped to green and gold early, scoring five runs in the first half of the first. The NJCU Bats didn’t have much success in the first three innings, picking up only three base runners and failing one in each of the first three innings. After the 12-point blowout in the fourth by the Red Hawks, the second-year second baseman Ali Pompey (Belle Meade, NJ/Trenton Catholic), who had previously found himself mostly on the seventh hole this season, hit again in the three hole and delivered a single to right field on his first at bat to start the rally. Senior Center Player Ricky Voss (Eatontown, NJ/Monmouth area) in the clean zone moved Pompey into scoring position after zipping a ball down the middle. Making the most of a short-term MSU error, Pompey entered for the first inning of the game for NJCU. Capturing his 22nd RBI of the season was a junior third baseman Jimmy Vizzoni (Hamilton, NJ/Trenton Catholic) with a deep center moonshot, bringing Voss in and reducing the deficit.
After a scoreless 1-2-3 by the second left-hander DJ Dekis (Hazlet, NJ/Raritan) in the top of the sixth, Jersey City picked up another run starting with the meat of their order. Voss started the inning by hitting the lazer in the opposite field, putting him in position to score without anyone. With that double, he puts Voss in 11th place in the NJAC with 41 hits and tied for seventh with 11 doubles. First-year student Nick Vaughn (Ocean Township, NJ/Ocean Township) moved the center of the field on a ground ball to the right and finished the job by another junior outfielder Josh Hernandez (Lake Worth, FL/Park Vista Community) through player choice. Montclair State collected three more runs in the next half, but after the seventh inning, rookie Josh Abrahamsen continued to make history for himself. In his first career start yesterday, the two-way player collected the first two hits of his fledgling Gothic Knight career after going 2-for-2 with RBI. Today, Abrahamsen captured his first career extra-base hit — a long homer — by driving a 3-1 fastball over the left-center fence, bringing NJCU’s total to four runs.
The Red Hawks took a decisive lead in the top of the eighth, forcing the head coach jerry smith look to his bench for the next two innings. The Vert et Or battled it out and ended up scoring double their runs in the last two innings, finishing with nine. In the eighth, Vaughn started with a junior single David Duran (Kearny, NJ/Kearny) carried a throw in the back and Vizzoni also walked to load the bases without anyone. RBI’s collection on back-to-back defenseman picks was in the second year Ricky Tuero (West New York, NJ/Memorial) and freshman Salvatore Verlingo (Nutley, NJ/St. Mary). First-year student Riley Morrow (Ocean Township, NJ/Ocean Township) also collected his first hit in green and gold.
Vizzoni went 1-2-3 the final half for the team on the mound, and in the final at-bats for rookie Jersey City Tyler Kittle (Mahwah, NJ/Mahwah) mustered his first career hit and Vizzoni finished his day with a two-RBI hit. Before the game was over, Verlingo landed his second hit of the afternoon, collecting his first multi-hit game of his young NJCU career.
NJCU will have to wash the grease off quickly, as the team returns to the Gerrity tomorrow, April 16, to take on fellow NJAC rival Rutgers-Camden University. The first pitch of the first game of the double game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., followed by the second game. r.