Senior Kwesi Mitchell
March 27, 2007
NEWARK, NJ - New Jersey Institute of Technology belted three home runs en route to an 8-5 baseball win over visiting Saint Peter's Tuesday afternoon in NJIT's 2007 Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium debut.
NJIT 1B Rob Pietrocola's solo home run in the bottom of the second inning was the only scoring for either team through the first three innings. RF Kwesi Mitchell launched a three-run blast for the Highlanders in the sixth inning and freshman DH Andrew Small hit a solo home run, the first of his career, as part of NJIT's three-run seventh that put the Highlanders on top to stay.
Freshman right-hander Spiro Molfetas (1-0) picked up his first college win for NJIT, while Cory Kuzmik picked up his third save of the season with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning. The win lifted NJIT to 5-9 in its first season of NCAA Division I competition.
Saint Peter's, which came in having won 11 of its last 13, including the last four in a row, dropped to 12-11 with the loss. Jeff Bayse, the third Peacock pitcher, took the loss, falling to 2-4 on the season. Bayse allowed five hits and three runs in 1.2 innings.
Saint Peter's RF Mike McGuire hit an opposite-field solo shot over the right field fence in the eighth inning for the only hit off of Molfetas, who worked 1.1 innings, striking out three and walking two.
Mitchell, the senior RF who is back after a redshirt year in 2006, hit his fifth home run of the young season and his 2-for-3 day lifted his season average to .423. His four RBI Tuesday upped his season total to 22 in just 14 games.
Saint Peter's 2B Jim O'Brien was 2-for-5 and McGuire, the right fielder, was 2-for-4. LF Frank Pacifico drove in two runs for the Peacocks.
The score was tied, 1-1, through five innings, with NJIT scoring on Pietrocola's home run in the second and Saint Peter's tying the score in the fourth on a fielder's choice ground out by Pacifico that scored 1B Joe Romano, who had reached base on an infield single.
Saint Peter's starter RHP Santo Maertz left after three innings and NJIT starter, freshman LHP Bobby Wyrwa pitched into the sixth inning before tiring and allowing the Peacocks to go ahead on a pair of runs in the sixth. Wyrwa's final line was: 5.2 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, a walk and 5 strikeouts.
The freshman didn't stay on the hook for long, as the Highlanders surged ahead, 4-3, in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to Mitchell's three-run shot over the center field fence.
Saint Peter's tied the score in the top of the seventh, but NJIT answered with three more runs in the bottom half. Small's homer to left started the rally and put NJIT on top for good. After an out, Binkiewicz got an infield hit. After another out, McCain doubled to score Binkiewicz and Mitchell followed with a single that sent McCain across the plate, giving the Highlanders a 7-4 lead.
The teams each scored a run in the eighth inning, before Kuzmik came on in the ninth to nail down the save, getting the final out on a called third strike.
NJIT is scheduled to visit Villanova on Wednesday for a 3:30 pm game in Plymouth Meeting, PA.