Union, N.J. (2/15/19) – The Kean University baseball team pounded out 12 hits in their season opener on their way to topping Drew University by the final of 6-4 on Friday afternoon in unseasonably favorable conditions.
Kean (1-0) collected five extra base hits on a four day home stand to begin the 2019 season.
The Cougars jumped on the board first as senior John Carello got the hitters off on the right foot with a double in Kean's first at-bat of the year. Chris Vetter followed with a hit of his own and Frank LoGiudice picked up an RBI one batter later.
Mike Pettigrew quickly answered for Drew (0-1) as he laced a two out triple into the gap, scoring Brent Lincoln who reached on a single.
The teams would see-saw in the middle innings as Kean would take a lead and the Rangers would fight back to tie things up.
In the decisive eighth inning, Drew tied things up at four-all after loading up the bases with no outs on two walks and an infield bunt single. A force out at the plate gave the Cougars one out but one batter later Max Felsenstein was able to push across the tying run on a groundout to second. The Cougars got out of further trouble as Carello's inward dive caught Eric DiPietro's soft liner for the third out.
Nick Polizzano led off the bottom of the eighth frame with a single in the gap and was lifted for pinch-runner Mike Perone Jr. Steve Santigate advanced him to third with his second double of the afternoon and Derek Walker plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice. Santigate added insurance after crossing the plate on a wild pitch.
Kyle Gaeb pitched into and out of trouble in the top of the ninth to earn the win. Gaeb allowed one run and two hits with four walks and two strikeouts in three innings of work. Not to be lost was the effective starting performance by RJ Jobin. Jobin scattered nine hits and three runs over six innings with four strikeouts and four walks. Davis Fouts suffered the loss in relief. He allowed two runs and two hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Offensively Carello, Vetter and Santigate all collected two hits as every member of the starting lineup registered a hit in the contest.
For the Rangers, Felsenstein had a game-high two RBI in the loss.
Kean returns to action on Saturday when they host Gwynedd Mercy University at 11:30 a.m.