Baseball Tops Ramapo, 8-4
Union, N.J. (5/5/11) – Junior Lee Cavico and senior Ken Gregory combined for six RBI as the Kean University baseball defeated Ramapo College, 8-4, Thursday afternoon in the second round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament.
With the win the top seeded Cougars (33-7) advance to take on #2 Rowan University on Saturday at 8 a.m. at Jim Hynes Stadium. The loss eliminates Ramapo (29-11) from the NJAC Tournament. In other tournament action, #6 Montclair State University kept their playoff hopes alive as they defeated and eliminated #5 The College of New Jersey, 7-6. MSU will face #3 Rutgers-Newark in the non-advancing matchup at noon on Saturday.
Kean, ranked fifth and sixth in the latest NCBWA/D3baseball.com and ABCA polls, jumped out to a three run lead as they plated two runs in the fourth and a single run in the sixth. Gregory got things started with an RBI double and would later score on an RBI groundout from senior Nick Nolan. Gregory then led off the sixth inning with a solo shot, his sixth of the year, to put Kean ahead, 3-0.
Ramapo battled back and tied things up in the top of the seventh as the Roadrunners loaded the bases with two walks and a single with no outs. Sophomore Matt Hancock drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, pinch-hitter Marco Carolla drew a bases loaded walk to inch within one. Outfielder Nicholas DiGirolamo’s RBI single tied things at three-all. Southpaw reliever Chris Judge (pictured left) then settled things down and got out of the inning with a double play.
The Cougars took the lead for good in the bottom of the same inning as senior Chris Carrano walked with one out. Cavico then launched a monster two run homerun, his eighth of the season, to put KU ahead, 5-3. Kean added insurance in their half of the eighth as junior Eddie Jennings and rookie Tyler Smarslok reached base via a single and double. Junior Vinny Galya lofted a sacrifice fly while Cavico and Gregory each recorded RBI singles later in the inning for an 8-3 advantage.
Ramapo added a single run in the ninth with an RBI single from senior Pat Driscoll but that would be as close as they could get as sophomore Greg Baruka closed the door with his second save of the season.
Judge (1-1) earned the win in relief for the Cougars. Judge tossed one and a third innings allowing four hits and a walk while Baruka picked up the save with one and two thirds innings of work allowing three hits and a run. Sophomore Travis Zilg suffered the loss for the Roadrunners. Zilg (6-3) allowed five runs, four earned, in six and a third innings. He also allowed eight hits and six walks while striking out three.
Offensively junior Dylan Laguna (pictured right) was 3-for-4 with two stolen bases while Cavico and Gregory combined for five hits, four runs scored and six RBI. Ramapo’s Kevin Knox finished the afternoon with a 3-for-4 performance with a stolen base and one run scored.