New Jersey City defeats first No. 1 team in school history in 5-1 win vs. Kean
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The Gothic Knight baseball team became the first program in school history to knock off a No. 1 team in Division III athletics. Senior ace and right-hander Wendell Rodriguez shut out top-ranked Kean for the final eight innings and sophomore third baseman Michael Martucci drove in three runs as NJCU delivered an upset, knocking off the three-time defending New Jersey Athletic Conference champions 5-1 at the Thomas M. Gerrity Athletic Complex. The Cougars claimed the second game of the doubleheader 10-1.
Kean (23-6, 7-2 NJAC) had won the last 19 meetings against NJCU (14-13, 3-6 NJAC) since the Knights last defeated the Cougars 11 years ago in an 8-1 decision in Union, N.J. on March 29, 2002.
NJCU has had several near upsets of the Cougars in recent years, losing 8-7 at home on April 13, 2012 and on April 14, 2011, Rodriguez tossed a four-hit complete game gem in Union, but lost to Kean 1-0. NJCU also fell by one run on April 3, 2010 (8-7).
Senior second baseman Pete Senyszyn reached base in eight of nine plate appearances in the doubleheader for NJCU, batting a combined 4-for-5 with three walks and one hit by pitch.
In the game two victory, Kean head coach Neil Ioviero captured his 500th career win at Kean since taking the helm in 1998.
Rodriguez extended his own school record for career victories to 14 with the win (14-14) and improved to 4-2 on the season while firing his 11th career complete game and his third this year in nine starts.
In 130 pitches, Rodriguez allowed 10 hits, including eight singles, but just one run, striking out two and walking one. Only one batter reached third in the entire game and none after the first innings.
Martucci was 3-for-4 with three RBIs -- a two-run single in NJCU's four-run third inning and an insurance RBI single in the fifth inning.
Senyszyn batted 3-for-3 with two runs, one RBI and a walk and sophomore Delio Coutinho, making just his second and third career starts at first base, was 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the opening game.