(Lake Myrtle Park, Fla.) – The Dickinson baseball team had an early start on Wednesday morning, waking up to face The College of New Jersey in a 9:30 am start in Florida. The Lions, ranked 13th in the latest d3baseball.com national poll, answered a five-run inning by the Red Devils with a six-run clip of their own on the way to a 12-7 decision.
Senior catcher Rick Hopkins (Egg Harbor Twp., N.J./Holy Spirit) broke the school record for runners caught stealing, raising his single season total to eight while recording the 38th of his career. He eclipses Nick Skowronski's '01 mark of 37, set in 2001.
The Lions struck first on a two-RBI single from C.J. Gearhart in the top of the first inning. They stretched the lead to 3-0 in the second after Tommy McCarthy reached on an error and came in to score on a single from Ben Varone.
The Red Devils capitalized on an error, scoring twice in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 3-2. Sophomore Max Brown (Annapolis, Md./McDonogh) led-off the inning with a single and junior Austin Sumners (W. Trenton, N.J./The Pennington School) drew a walk.
That led to an error as Stephen Sakowicz (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) looked to sacrifice bunt and Brown would score from second to put the Devils on the board. Hopkins drove in Sumners to pull Dickinson within a run.
The Red Devils erupted for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 7-3 lead. Back-to-back singles from Ben Carter (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing Area) and David Farnham (Atherton, Calif./Menlo School) led to RBI singles for Sumners and Sakowicz.
Hopkins came through again, driving in two more runs with a double after first-year Max Matilsky (Bernardsville, N.J./Morristown-Beard) reached on a two-out walk.
The Lions countered in the top of the fifth, scoring six runs to go back in front, 9-7. TCNJ strung together five straight hits while Varone singled twice in the inning to lead the charge.
The game went scoreless for the next three innings as the Dickinson looked to keep the Lions in striking distance, heading into the ninth inning.
McCarthy doubled in a run for the Lions and came around on a triple by Jacob Simon. Verone tallied his third RBI of the game, scoring Simon for the final of 12-7. Matt Curry came on to close, facing three batters in the bottom of the ninth.
Hopkins led the Red Devils with three RBIs and a double. Sumners went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI while Sakowicz added an RBI and a run scored as well.
The College of New Jersey improved to 4-1 on the season while the Red Devils slip to 8-4 overall. Dickinson returns to action on Thursday, facing Westfield State in a double-header with the first pitch set for 1:30 pm.