Baseball Splits NJAC Doubleheader With Ramapo

Little Falls, NJ (4/6/08) – Montclair State junior third baseman Stephen Piscitello (Hauppague, NY / Hauppague) drove in four runs in the opener while Ramapo freshman righthander Jack McDonough (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) tossed a complete-game in the nightcap as the Red Hawks and Roadrunners split a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader at Yogi Berra Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Montclair (10-9, 4-2 NJAC) won the first game 15-9 before Ramapo (12-11, 1-5 NJAC) gained a split with a 4-1 triumph.

In the opener, MSU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first as Rob Bowness ( Sparta, NJ / Seton Hall Prep) smacked a two-run-double to centerfield to drive in Michael Nunes ( Hazlet, NJ / Raritan) and Lou Politan ( Livingston, NJ / Livingston). Piscitello brought home Jeff Miller ( Wyckoff, NJ / Ramapo) with a ground out and Bowness scored on a wild pitch for the final run.

Montclair added two more in the second as Andrew Himmelfarb ( Nyack, NY / Nyack) belted a solo home run, his first career round tripper, and Nunes scored during rundown as the Red Hawks went up 6-0. Ramapo would get three back in the top of the fourth taking advantage of two MSU miscues. John Callandrello brought home a run with a fielder’s choice and Skyler Conte ( Kinnelon, NJ / Kinnelon) added an RBI double as the lead was trimmed to 6-3.

The Red Hawks responded with five runs in their half of the fourth. Politan singled in one run and Miller cleared the bases with a double as Montclair moved in front 10-3. Piscitello added the final run on a ground out. Ramapo did not go away however as the Roadrunners scored three time in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Peter Sita ( Bayonne, NJ / Hudson Catholic) drove in two with a base hit as Ramapo crept within 11-6.

But Piscitello’s two-run single in the sixth helped Montclair extend its lead back to 14-6 and despite three runs by the Roadrunners in the seventh, Montclair closed out the game with the 15-9 victory.

Freshman righthander Lou Cautero ( Succasunna, NJ / Roxbury) picked up the victory in relief as he earned his first collegiate decision (1-0). Cautero went 1 2/3 innings allowing three hits and three runs with a strikeout before Michael Streaman ( Westfield, NJ / Westfield) and D.J. Cunningham ( Florham Park, NJ / Hanover Park) combined for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Junior Dan Mulligan ( Wilmington, DE / Concord) took the loss to fall to 2-2.

Politan finished 3-for-3 for Montclair State while Nunes (2-for-3, three runs), Miller (2-for-2, three runs) and Bowness each collected two hits. Joey Cacchiola (Union, NJ / Union), Callandrello, Sita, Jairo Jimenez (Bronx, NY / Dewitt Clinton) and Mike Manges (Glen Rock, NJ / Paramus Catholic) all had two hits apiece for the Roadrunners.

The second game did not provide the offense the first did, but instead became a tight pitcher’s duel as McDonough moved to 4-1 with his second complete game of the season. The righty allowed seven hits, fanned nine and walked two as he maneuvered out of several tricky spots in his 152-pitch performance (101 for strikes).

Ramapo would get on the board in the second inning as Aaron Drury ( Canton, MI / North Farmington) doubled with two out and scored on Gino Gallagher’s ( Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) single up the middle. The Roadrunners added another run in the fourth on Gallagher’s sacrifice fly.

That lead would appear to be enough for McDonough, who allowed a runner to third in the third inning with one out only to get a pair of pop ups to end the inning. After Ramapo had taken a 2-0 lead, McDonough surrendered a leadoff double, but fanned the side to keep MSU off the scoreboard.

Montclair State would scratch out a run in the sixth as Miller led off with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out before coming home on a flared base hit to left field by Himmelfarb. In the eighth, Montclair threatened with the tying run at second as Miller singled with one out and went to second on a wild pitch. A walk to Bowness gave the Red Hawks the go-ahead run at first, but McDonough induced a pop up and fanned the next batter to end the threat.

In the ninth, Shaun Hanrahan (West Keansburg, NJ / Raritan) gave the Roadrunners some breathing room as he cracked a two-run homer just inside the left field foul pole for his second of the season and a 4-1 Ramapo lead.

Senior righthander Tim Stringer ( Annandale, NJ / North Hunterdon) took the loss to fall to 1-3. Stringer went 6 1/3 innings allowing six hits and two runs, striking out three and walking three.

Manges, Gallagher and Hanrahan each had two hits for Ramapo while Ed Kloepping ( Pennsville, NJ / Pennsville) was 2-for-4 for the Red Hawks.

Montclair State returns to action on Tuesday, April 8 as the Red Hawks host DeSales University at Yogi Berra Stadium beginning at 3:30 pm.