Union, N.J. (4/21/12) – Sophomore Joe O'Connor was a combined 6-of-8 with two RBI and four runs scored as he helped #8/10 Kean University sweep Rutgers-Newark by the finals of 11-0 and 5-4 on Saturday afternoon in NJAC baseball action.
Kean improves to 25-9 overall and 10-4 in NJAC play while the Scarlet Raiders fall to 15-19 this season with a 4-10 conference mark.
Senior southpaw Ryan Zamorsky (6-1) tossed seven innings of shutout ball scattering just five hits, all singles, with six strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Matt Mantione tossed two innings of relief allowing just one hit with one walk and one strikeout.
Kean scored in all but one inning in the first game, putting the game away with a three-spot in both the third and fourth innings. The Cougars scored what would be the winning run in the bottom of the first as senior Steve Sanguiliano tripled to right field, driving home sophomore Shane Alvarez, who reached on a leadoff single.
In all, Kean pounded out 15 hits, including three triples. Alvarez was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI from his leadoff position while rookie Andy Lopez was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Senior Eddie Jennings (pictured left) remained hot with a 2-for-3 performance in game one while Sanguiliano finished with two hits and two RBI.
Sophomore Michael Garcia (0-2) suffered the loss for Rutgers-Newark. He allowed eight runs, five earned, in three and two thirds innings of work with 10 hits.
It was a see-saw affair in game two, as the Scarlet Raiders struck first with two runs in their first at-bat. Senior Chris Ballester led off the game with a triple to left center and scored on a wild pitch. Later in the frame, sophomore Jimmy Napolitano recorded a sacrifice fly to put the score at 2-0.
Both teams traded single runs in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth. Jennings pushed across Kean's run in the bottom of the third with a single and Rutgers-Newark got that run right back as senior Tim Miller singled through the right side for an RBI in the top of the fourth.
The Cougars made it 3-2 with an RBI single from rookie Anthony Fischetti in the bottom of the fourth, driving in O'Connor who reached on a leadoff double. Kean would take their first lead of the game in their half of the sixth as sophomore Nick Zucchero registered an RBI triple to right while Fischetti lofted a sacrifice fly to left, giving Kean a 4-3 lead.
The Scarlet Raiders tied the game up in the eighth after appearing to end the inning on a pop-up. The inning was extended after catcher's interference was called and sophomore Kevin Olah took advantage one batter later with a single through the right side.
Kean then took the lead for good in the bottom of the same inning as O'Connor (pictured right) led off the frame with a single. A successful sacrifice and stolen base put him on third with one out. Junior Nick Ramagli, in his first at-bat of the day, laid down a perfect bunt, scoring O'Connor from third.
Sanguiliano, who took the mound in the eighth, then retired the side in the ninth to pick up his second win of the year.
Offensively, O'Connor was 4-for-4 with a double and three runs scored while Jennings was 2-for-3 while throwing out two runners. For Rutgers-Newark, Olah and Ballester each finished with two hits apiece.
Reliever Nick Evans suffered the loss for the Scarlet Raiders. Evans (0-2) allowed one run and two hits in a third of an inning.
Kean returns to NJAC action on Thursday when they host Ramapo College at 3:30 p.m.