By Steven M. Glassman
Director of Sports Information
March 27, 2018
EDISON, NJ—Manor College (1-0 Overall, 1-0 NJCAA Region XIX Division III) freshman shortstop Jose Romero (Philadelphia, PA/Frankford) scored four runs, contributed three hits, knocked in two runs, and stole a base as the Blue Jays win in its first game played in school history versus the Middlesex County College Colts (5-8, 1-3), 10-4, in game one of a doubleheader.
Blue Jays freshman center fielder Abdur-Rauf Mujahid (Philadelphia, PA/Boys Latin) took the first pitch for a ball at 1:55 p.m. from Colts freshman starting pitcher Nickolas Errico. Romero became the first baserunner in school history when he took the first walk and stole second for the first in school history. He advanced to third on freshman catcher Timothy Ruckdeschel's passed ball. Romero scored on an Errico wild pitch with two out for the first run in school history. Blue Jays starting pitcher Nicholas Herrera (Philadelphia, PA/Frankford) retired the first batter in school history on a freshman right fielder Noah Brisach pop up to Herrera to lead off the bottom of the first inning. However, the Colts tied the game later in the inning on freshman third baseman Edwin Garcia's fly ball single to right with one out. Herrera got out of the one-out, bases loaded jam, inducing sophomore left fielder Nicholas Viola to pop out to Herrera on the infield fly rule and struck out Ruckdeschel swinging to end inning, posting the first pitcher strike out in Manor history.
The Blue Jays took the lead for good in the top of the third inning. Romero got the first hit in school history on an infield single that hit the third base bag with one out. He advanced to second on an Errico balk. Freshman second baseman Sauriel Baez' (Philadelphia, PA/Esperanza Center) ground ball went through the legs of sophomore shortstop Kenny Zahn into the outfield and scored Baez to give Manor the 2-1 lead. Freshman catcher Abimael Mercado (Philadelphia, PA/Juan Ponce De Leon [PR]) became the first Blue Jay with an extra base hit (double to right) and RBI (scoring Baez for the 3-1 lead with one out).
Middlesex County got within 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a freshman designated hitter Samuel Abreu two-out sacrifice fly that scored freshman second baseman Michael Russo.
Manor added to its lead in the final three innings, scoring seven runs during that stretch. Freshman third baseman George Reyes (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast) two-out, two-run RBI single to center field off of freshman relief pitcher Jonathan Torres scored freshman first baseman Hector Morales (Philadelphia, PA/Esperanza Center) and Herrera to give the Blue Jays a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth. Baez one-out, double to right-center off of freshman relief pitcher Matt Smith scored Romero to give Manor a 6-2 lead in the top of the sixth. The Blue Jays scored four in the seventh. Reyes' single to left off of Smith, and a Viola fielding error, scored freshman pinch-runner Samuel Pena (Philadelphia, PA/Liceo Vespertino Pedro MIR [DR]) with none out. Romero's one-out single to left scored Reyes and Rauf-Mujahid. Manor closed out its scoring on a Morales two-out double to left that scored Romero which gave the team a 10-2 lead.
The Colts scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Herrera got Abreu to pop up to Baez to end the game at 4:47 p.m. and Manor won, 10-4, in its first baseball game played in school history.
Batting Leaders: The Blue Jays outhit the Colts 13 to three. Reyes had two hits and two RBI and Rauf-Mujahid contributed two hits and two stolen bases. Every Manor starter had at least one hit each.
Garcia, Viola, and freshman center fielder Austin Brooks each collected a single and walked twice.
Pitching Leaders: Herrera (1-0) threw the complete game victory for Manor, allowing three hits (all singles), and striking out eight Colts.
Errico (0-2) took the loss for Middlesex County, pitching 3 1/3 innings, striking out two.