NJAC Has Quality Baseball Teams...

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | Apr 19, 2018
NJAC Has Quality Baseball Teams... NJAC Has Quality Baseball Teams Competing for the Postseason

While the high school baseball season just began on March 31, the local college regular season is coming to a near conclusion.

Locally, the New Jersey Athletic Conference, will begin its conference tournament on May 1. Teams are still jockeying to get into position to compete in the tournament. The winner of the NJAC tourney earns an automatic bid NCAA tournament berth.

The top six teams in the regular division standings will earn a spot in the double-elimination NJAC playoffs.

First round games will be hosted by higher seeds at campus sites on Tuesday, May 1. All six participating teams will then travel to Kean University’s Jim Hynes Stadium for the remainder of the conference tournament on Friday, May 4, Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6.

Last season the College of New Jersey defeated Rampo, 7-6 to win the NJAC Conference championship game and earn the NCAA berth.

The College of NJ was the pick to win the NJAC title in this year’s preseason poll. Here is how the poll went; 1. College of NJ; 2. Rowan; 3. Ramapo; 4. Kean; 5. William Paterson; 6. Montclair State; 7. Rutgers-Newark; 8. Rutgers-Camden; 9. Stockton; 10. New Jersey City.

College of NJ earned nine of the 10 first-place votes, with Ramapo, earning the other.

With two weeks left in the regular season the race in the NJAC was tight, at least for teams competing for one of the six playoff berths.

Here were the standings beginning the week with the conference record: 1. College of NJ (8-2); 2. Rowan (6-4); 2. William Paterson (6-4); 2. Kean (6-4); 2. Rutgers-Camden; 6. Ramapo (5-5); 6. New Jersey City (5-5); 8. Montclair State (4-6); 9. Stockton (3-7); 10. Rutgers Newark (1-9). The top nine teams are still in realistic contention for one of the playoff spots.

Even though College of New Jersey began the week with a two-game lead, the Lions still have to play many of their tougher games.

One of the most interesting developments is the play of Rutgers-Camden. The Scarlet Raptors are in the race based on consecutive wins over the College of New Jersey.

Rutgers-Camden won 3-1 at home and then 1-0 the next day at the College of New Jersey. The shutout win was provided by righthander Carter Fichter, a senior from Haddonfield who went the distance, allowing six hits, while striking out seven.

Fichter has been a leader of the staff. He began the week 4-2 with a 1.75 ERA.

Nolan Gerold, a sophomore from Camden Catholic, knocked in the game’s lone run.

So the next two weeks will decide the field and at this point, nobody has assured a playoff spot in a postseason that should be as tight as the regular season standings.

Photo by Marc Narducci: Kyle Barner of Haddon Heights

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci


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