St. Joseph’s ties a school record with 20th win of the season
Third base coach Jerry Sidman noticed before the game that his players were a little uptight, perhaps a bit nervous, as they got set to face William Paterson, one of the better teams in the tough New Jersey Athletic Conference. “We’re not afraid to play anybody, but before the game you could see they were a bit nervous,” Sidman admitted. “They relaxed quickly, though, when Chris Cutrone retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the first. He tends to have that effect because he’s been so good this season that he gives us a level of comfort when he’s on the mound.”
Cutrone led the St. Joseph’s College Bears to a 3-2 victory over William Paterson University at MCU Park in Coney Island on Monday as he allowed just two runs, one earned, with 10 strikeouts during a complete game. It’s the Bears’ ninth win in a row, a school record, and their 20th win of the season, which tied a school record.
“Huge isn’t even the word,” said catcher Domenick Camerada. “William Paterson is in one of the best conferences in the nation. Coming from our zone where we play some mediocre teams, getting a win against Paterson is huge for us. It’s a big win.”
The Bears also improved to 10-3 at home as they continue to work toward their goal of winning the Small College World Series.
Cutrone was dominant all game long. He pitched 1-2-3 innings in the first, second and third innings. He put two runners on in the fourth, but escaped the jam with back-to-back strikeouts. A throwing error led to a run in the fifth, and another run was scored in the sixth. He then pitched an effortless seventh, eighth, and ninth to wrap up the game.
“I just felt like I was in the zone today,” Cutrone said. “The most important thing, though, was my defense. They’ve been phenomenal lately. I’m making the pitches and they’re backing me up.”
With the score tied at 2-2, the Bears scored the winning run when Anthony DeFillippo walked, and Anthony Inserillo advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Nicholas LoPrinzi sacrifice fly to right.
With the win, Cutrone improved to 6-1 on the season with a 2.73 ERA. For the second year in a row, the Bears reached 20 wins. Each year their goal is 25 wins and to reach the Small College World Series, but now they’re hoping for 30 wins and a World Series title.
“I was just kidding with the guys and I said, ‘why not 30,'” Sidman said with a big smile. “OK, we got to 20 and now that goal is pushed aside. 30? If the weather stays right I think it’s something we can accomplish.”
The Bears aren’t getting ahead of themselves though. They haven’t gotten much love in the polls, a constant reminder that even a slight step back might deny them what they feel they rightfully deserve. So at the moment, all of their focus is on Thursday’s game against Fairleigh Dickinson Florham.
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