#8 TCNJ Outlasts Farmingdale State in 13 Innings

Michael Amandola pointing bat toward the field getting ready for his at-bat
Michael Amandola

#8 TCNJ - 8, Farmingdale State - 7 (F/13)

Baltimore, Md. - The Farmingdale State baseball team was eliminated from the NCAA Regional Tournament on Saturday afternoon as they fell to #8 TCNJ, 8-7, in 13 innings. The Rams finished their season 32-9 overall. Host-school Johns Hopkins would go on to capture the Regional.

The Lions took an early 1-0 advantage as junior catcher David Cardona III (Elizabeth, N.J.) tallied a solo homerun in the top of the first inning. 

Still leading 1-0 in the fourth, TCNJ used an RBI double from senior first baseman Tommy McCarthy (Allentown, N.J.) and an FSC fielding error to increase their lead to three. Farmingdale State sophomore designated hitter Ryan DePalma (Albertson, N.Y.) answered with a leadoff solo homerun in the bottom of the inning to cut the Rams deficit to two.

After extending their advantage to 5-1 in the fifth, Lions' junior left fielder Jacob Simon (Hightstown, N.J.) registered an RBI double to extend their lead to five.

In the bottom of the fifth, senior left fielder Nick Attardi (Smithtown, N.Y.) hit a one-out single to right field before junior center fielder Vincent Napolitano (Bellmore, N.Y.) tallied a two-run homerun over the left field fence to close within three at 6-3.

In the sixth, FSC loaded the bases with no one out after three straight singles from Brandon O'Neill (North Babylon, N.Y.), Steven Burke (North Babylon, N.Y.) and Shawn Blasberg (Sound Beach, N.Y.). Freshman Patrick Leach (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) would pinch-hit and record a sacrifice fly to left field before Attardi used a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with two outs. The next batter was Napolitano and he registered a game-tying two-run single to knot the score at 6-6.

Over the next three innings, both teams combined for just two hits as the game went into extra innings. 

TCNJ loaded the bases with two outs in the 10th but Rams' freshman pitcher Thomas Messina (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) forced the next batter to foul out to end the threat.

After FSC was held scoreless in the bottom of the 10th, Lions' junior third baseman Gary Otten (Staten Island, N.Y.) hit a solo homerun in the 11th to put TCNJ in front, 7-6. The Rams responded as sophomore third baseman Joey Barbuto (North Babylon, N.Y.) led off the bottom of the inning with a base hit through the right side and would move to third after a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. Down to their final out, Farmingdale State junior right fielder Vincent Rice (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) tallied an RBI single to left field to once again tie the score.

Neither team could push across a run in the 12th as the game went into the 13th. TCNJ would put runners on first and third with just one out after a hit-by-pitch and an FSC fielding error. The Lions used a safety squeeze by senior shortstop Danny Borup (Plainsboro, N.J.) in their next at-bat to push across the runner from third to go up, 8-7.

In the bottom of the 13th, junior Jimmy Mattera (West Islip, N.Y.) tallied a one-out single but TCNJ senior Zac Derocco (Red Bank, N.J.) forced a flyout before striking out the final batter looking as they earned the victory, 8-7.

Napolitano finished with two hits, including a homerun, two walks, four RBI's and one run scored, while DePalma recorded a solo homerun and a walk. Burke had two hits and a run scored and Rice produced one hit and an RBI. Attardi, O'Neill, Blasberg and Mattera each had one hit and one run scored in the loss.

Messina did not earn a decision as he threw five innings, giving up just one run on four hits, in relief. Senior pitcher Logan Hicks (Ekron, KY) was tabbed with the loss after allowing just one hit and one unearned run in three innings on the mound.