Pioneer Baseball falls to Rowan in NJAC Championship Series

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Stephen Bologna, Staff Writer

The #19 ranked Pioneer baseball teams exceptional run for the NJAC title has ended. On Friday, May 21, the #8 seeded Rowan Profs defeated the Pioneers in two games by scores of 12-4 and 8-3 to take home the NJAC title. It’s a series loss that stings for the pioneers after a 27-6 record coming into the championship series.

In game one of the championship series, scoring didn’t kick off until the 5th inning where Rowan exploded for six runs. Sophomore pitcher Darmany Rivas got the start and went 4 innings, allowing 8 hits and 5 runs. He finished the year with an incredible 8-1 record with a 2.93 ERA.

For the Profs, Drew Ryback got the game one nod and went 5.1 innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. Another 4 run inning for Rowan in the bottom of the 6th put the game out of reach for the pioneers.

In Game two, Rowan jumped out to an early lead, hitting Senior Pitcher Jack Defouw for 4 runs and 3 walks. Defouw was taken out in the second inning.

In the bottom of the same inning, the Pioneer blew a bases loaded, no out situation with three consecutive strikeouts. Rowan remained in control the rest of the game, scoring a run again in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th innings, solidifying their lead, which lead to their 4th NJAC title since 2014.

Speaking ¬†about the season with Pioneer Senior Dan Carter he said, “I thought we had a great group of guys. We sacrificed a lot this season. Having to go through Covid testing every week, avoid people outside of our own team for 17 weeks was not easy for any of us.” He continued with, ¬†“While we didn’t get the results we wanted, it’s time to get back to work, ” said Carter.

The Pioneer baseball season officially came to an end after not being granted a bid into the NCAA tournament.

The Pioneers swept both Rutgers-Camden and The College of New Jersey in rounds one and two of the tournament while ranked as the #2 seed in the conference.

With many seniors on the roster, we will wait and see who will return and who doesn’t. Nevertheless the Pioneers are a team with youth and strong leadership from upperclassmen. They will be a threat in the NJAC for years to come.