The loss is the first for the Cougars this season in their new facility (12-1 home record), as KU falls to 22-7 overall and 6-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The win improves the Red Hawks to 12-9 overall and 5-2 in conference action.
MSU used steady scoring in the first three innings as they plated two runs in the first, second and third innings on just three hits. The Red Hawks took advantage of five walks issued in the first three frames.
Lou Politan (Livingston, NJ) and Jeff Miller (Wyckoff, NJ) drew back-to-back walks with one out in the first before Ed Kloepping (Pennsville, NJ) slapped single to right center scoring Politan with the game's first run.
Kean got their first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the first as senior Derek Gianakas (Edison, N.J.) singled home leftfielder Eric Ammirata (Hamilton, N.J.), cutting the deficit to one run (2-1).
MSU then tacked on all the runs they would need in the second and third innings to push them ahead 6-1. THe Red Hawks loaded the bases on a walk, single and hit batter before a wild pitch scored the first run. Politan lofted a sacrifice fly for the other as MSU pushed its lead to 4-1. The following inning Montclair took advantage of one of those Kean errors and a sacrifice fly by Rob Clark (Livingston, NJ) put MSU in front 6-1.
Kean, who out-hit the Red Hawks 9-5, was led by sophomore Nick Nolan (Linden, N.J.) (pictured right) who recorded his fifth homerun of the season. Bryan Burke (Lindenhurst, N.Y.), Ammirata, and Gianakas all recorded two hits on the afternoon.
For the Red Hawks, shortstop Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, N.J.) tallied two hits and two runs scored.
Castano (1-0) earned the win after tossing five innings allowing two runs and seven hits. He also struck out two and walked no one. Sophomore Joe Bartlinski (South Amboy, N.J.) (4-2) suffered the loss after tossing three plus innings allowing six runs, five earned, along with three hits and five walks. Nick Cesare (South Plainfield, N.J.) entered the game in relief and allowed just two hits in six innings of work. He also allowed one unearned run.
The Red Hawks return to action on Friday, April 11 as they host Rutgers-Newark at Yogi Berra Stadium beginning at 3:30 pm.