Baseball Captures NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional; Advances to World Series
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (5/19/12) – For the fifth time in the last six seasons, the Kean University baseball team advances to the NCAA Division III Baseball Championships, defeating Ramapo College, 6-4, to capture the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional at FirstEnergy Park on Saturday evening.
The #2 Cougars (37-10) scored runs in three of the first four innings and never trailed in defeating #4 Ramapo (33-14) for the fifth time this season.
Kean scored in the bottom of the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead when senior centerfielder Vinny Galya singled to left field, stole second base and scored on an inning-extending error.
Both teams scored single runs in the second inning, with Ramapo tying the game on a RBI single by right-fielder Dan Mauriello to score designated hitter Ian Osterma in the top half of the inning. Kean regained the lead in the bottom of the second inning after sophomore left fielder Joe O'Connor led off the inning with a double and scored on the two-out single by second baseman Tyler Smarslok.
Ramapo tied the game again in the top of the third inning, as the Roadrunners took advantage of a pair of Kean errors and a wild pitch, as left fielder Dave Jacob reached on an error and would later score on the wild pitch.
Kean went ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning following the double steal from O'Connor and first baseman Nick Zucchero, with O'Connor scoring the go-ahead run after leading off the inning with a walk and advancing to third on the single by Zucchero.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cougars tacked on a pair of runs on the two-run double by O'Connor.
The Roadrunners got a pair of runs back with a two-out rally in the top of the eighth inning. Shortstop Marco Carolla and first baseman Joseph Somma singled and doubled, respectively, to put both in scoring position and Mauriello followed with the two-run double to pull Ramapo within 5-4.
Kean tacked on the insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, as third baseman Nick Ramagli singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second base on the sacrifice by Smarslok. An infield single by Galya put runners on the corners, setting up Ramagli to score on the wild pitch for the 6-4 lead.
Reliever Steve Sanguiliano closed out the final inning and a third, recording the game-ending strikeout to punch Kean's ticket to the World Series.
Kean starter Chris Cirlincione scattered nine hits and seven strikeouts, while allowing just three earned runs in 7.2 innings of work, before Sanguiliano recorded the final four outs for his eighth save of the season.
O'Connor finished 2-of-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Galya was 2-of-4 with one run scored.
For the Roadrunners, Mauriello was 2-of-3 with three RBI and Somma finished 3-of-4 with one run scored.