The return of America’s favorite pastime is something that players and fans equally look forward to. For Muhlenberg, opening day was definitely worth the wait. The Mules started their season off with a strong 13-3 win against the Cazenovia College Wildcats, setting the pace for a three game sweep at the Gallaudet Bison Classic in Washington, DC. Through three games, the Mules put up a staggering 36 runs while only allowing 12 runs to their opponents.

Muhlenberg’s high powered offense was led by Danny Monzo ‘22. Monzo went two for four at the plate against the Wildcats on opening night and rounded out the tournament with an impressive .417 batting average. “It felt great to finally be able to get back on the field for a full season as it was a long winter and even longer two years with COVID.” Monzo talked about how it was difficult to “feel 100% comfortable the first couple at bats after hitting inside the entire winter, but the comfort comes back after a while.”  

His favorite moment was being able to sweep Cazenovia, Rochester Institute of Technology and Gallaudet in convincing fashion along with getting to take a road trip, “with the guys for the first time in a year and a half.” Recognizing that the Mules have a lot of talent this season, Monzo is excited for the season ahead, “We have a pretty solid all around group of guys and can really compete for a conference championship.”

One of those “pretty solid” guys is Jayden Barroqueiro ‘25. In Barroqueiro’s first ever collegiate outing he went six innings while giving up zero earned runs. For him, the whole experience reminded him of the countless hours put into the off-season, “[It] was a lot of fun. All of my teammates’ support and all of the hard work put in this off season had prepared me for that day and let me go out there with lots of confidence,” said Barroqueiro. That confidence led to Barroqueiro striking out eight members of the Gallaudet’s in their home ballpark. While Barroqueiro was fanning batters left and right the “support from the team was there the whole game.” He said, “While I was on the mound I could always hear them from the dugout.”  

A compliment that is going to stick with Barroqueiro came after the game from an unlikely source. Monzo, who had previously told Barroqueiro that he “had no drip… ended up taking back his comment after the game.” On a more serious note, Barroqueiro said, “This weekend showed what we are capable of doing as a team. With the seniors being the only ones on the team to experience a full season we have a lot to prove. It is just the start of a long season and we have to keep going up from here.

Barroqueiro wasn’t the only Muhlenberg pitcher to throw a gem. In the season opener the Mules were propelled to victory by Quinn Rovner ‘23. During his impressive performance on the mound, he managed to allow only two earned runs off of five hits through six innings to secure his first win as a starting pitcher.  

Getting the nod to be the opening day starter was meaningful to Rovner. He said, “It was an awesome thing to hear. Knowing that I had the faith of my coaches and team behind me to open up our season couldn’t mean more to me.” Rovner said that the biggest thing for him, “was throwing strikes and hitting my spots.” He said, “I feel like I executed my pitches well and got some nice swings and misses. There were times when I needed to make some adjustments and reset, but I kept battling. I also have my infield to thank for making some great plays.” He also made sure to thank Donovan Brady ‘22 for coming, “in and clos[ing] out the game to secure the win.”  

Despite the strong start to the season Rovner is not satisfied. He has two dates marked in his calendar. The first being the matchup against the back-to-back defending Centennial Conference Champion, Johns Hopkins University, on Apr. 23 at home and the second being the Centennial Conference Championship game which will take place 15 days later on May 8.

Until then, Muhlenberg will look to build on their strong performances from over the weekend as they will once again be traveling. This weekend they will be taking on Albright College and Eastern University.


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