CALDWELL, N.J. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) baseball team (15-26, 13-13 CACC) split a pair of one-run games at Caldwell (11-24, 9-17 CACC) on Wednesday. The Cougars had a 3-2 win in the opener and the Rams pitched a 1-0 shutout in eight innings in game two.
GAME ONE – L, 3-2 (9 inn.)
All of the runs came in the sixth inning. Senior Andres Valbuena led off with a walk for Jefferson. Junior Robert Wood singled to left center to put runners on first and second. After a groundout advanced the runners, junior Austin Torres drove them in with a two-run single.
In the bottom half, Caldwell recorded a one-out base hit and the runner stole second before advancing to third on a wild pitch. A single made the score 2-1 before the Cougars took the lead with a two-run homer to left field.
The Rams were only able to get a runner to second base once in the final three frames as they could not find the equalizer.
GAME TWO – W, 1-0 (8 inn.)
A pitching duel ensued in the nightcap, with the teams combining for eight hits in seven innings and unable to put a run on the board. Only five runners reached second base in that span.
In the eighth, Jefferson finally broke through to take the lead. Valbuena led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Arturo Figueroa knocked in the go-ahead run with a base hit.
In the bottom of the frame, Caldwell had a lead-off single and the runner was sacrificed to second. After a strikeout, the runner stole third. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases with two outs. Sophomore Matt Bukavich came through with a clutch strikeout to end the threat and the ballgame.
Bukavich and sophomore Patrick Hohlfeld combined for the five-hit shutout. Hohlfeld allowed four hits while striking out eight in six innings. Bukavich earned the win, tossing two one-hit frames and fanning four.
CACC PLAYOFF PICTURE
The Rams currently sit in the final playoff position in the South Division with six games to go. They are one game ahead of both USciences and Goldey-Beacom. Felician is the only squad to have clinched a spot in the CACC Tournament. Chestnut Hill and Wilmington (Del.) currently reside in second and third place respectively.
The Rams have a crucial home doubleheader with Wilmington (Del.) on Wednesday, April 24 at 1 p.m.