Union, N.J. (4/4/13) – Junior Joe O'Connor crossed the plate three times to lead the Kean University baseball team past rival Montclair State University by the final of 8-4 Thursday afternoon in NJAC action.
O'Connor finished with a 2-for-4 day with three stolen bases and a double as Kean improves to 18-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play. Jose Carlos Padilla led the Red Hawks with two hits, including a leadoff triple as MSU falls to 9-7 this season and 1-2 in the NJAC.
Montclair took advantage of the leadoff triple by Padilla and used a groundout to take an early 1-0 lead after one. The Cougar bats then took over and scored six runs over the second and third frames to take a 6-1 lead. Junior Nick Zucchero provided an RBI single that ended up plating two after an outfield miscue in the second. Three RBI singles off the bats of juniors Tyler Smarslok and O'Connor and sophomore Andy Lopez were a part of a four run third inning.
The Red Hawks cut the deficit in half with two runs in the sixth as catcher Anderson Rosa lined a two out single into center, scoring two.
The Cougars added insurance with single runs in the seventh and eighth, sandwiched around a solo homerun from senior Red Hawk Steve Nappe.
In all, Kean pounded out 12 hits as sophomore Anthony Fischetti (pictured left) accounted for three of those hits with a 3-for-3 day. He added two RBI and a double. Smarslok, Lopez and O'Connor all finished with multiple hits.
On the mound, sophomore Charles Thielmann improved to 4-1 as he tossed eight and a third innings allowing four runs and eight hits. Thielmann fanned seven and walked four late in the matchup. Rookie Chris Amato came in and recorded the final two outs of the contest. Southpaw Jonathan Torregroza (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he allowed seven runs, six earned, in six and a third innings of work.
For MSU, leftfielder Matt Moreno recorded two hits on the day.
The two teams will be back at it again on Friday when they travel to Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair for a 3:30 p.m. first pitch.