Baseball Lands Five on NJCBA All-State Team

Montclair, NJ (5/19/08) Senior designated hitter Rob Bowness (Sparta, NJ / Seton Hall Prep) earned his second straight First-Team honor as Montclair State placed five players on the 2008 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association All-State Team.

Bowness was joined on the First Team by fellow classmates Jeff Miller (Wyckoff, NJ / Ramapo) and Lou Politan (Livingston, NJ / Livingston). Junior Ed Kloepping (Pennsville, NJ / Pennsville) and senior Michael Nunes (Hazlet, NJ / Raritan) were named Second and Third-Team, respectively while freshman Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) was selected to the All-Rookie Team.

The six players helped Montclair State to a 28-20 record this season as the Red Hawks also finished second in the NJAC during the regular season at 13-5. Montclair reached the championship round of the NJAC Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament for the 24th time in school history. MSU went 2-2 at the New York Regional held in Auburn, N.Y.

Bowness, a First-Team All-NJAC pick, batted .327 in his final year with the Red Hawks. Ranked in the Top 10 all-time in triples (2nd), home runs (21) and total bases (309), Bowness collected 55 hits with 13 doubles, four triples and seven home runs while driving in 41 runs, second on the team. Bowness totaled 97 bases and had a slugging percentage of .577 and on-base average of .411 while scoring 43 times.

Miller, another First-Team All-NJAC pick, led the Red Hawks with a .420 batting average and 45 RBI along with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 47 runs scored. Miller, who threw out 14 base runners during the season, recorded 71 hits, drew 29 walks and had a slugging percentage of .657 as well as a .488 on-base average.

Politan, who hit the game-winning home run against Eastern Connecticut in the NCAA Regional last week, batted .388 with 66 hits, 10 doubles, six triples, three homers and 31 RBI while registering a team-best 42 walked while tying Miller for second on the squad with 47 runs scored. Politan, a First-Team All-NJAC selection, had an on-base percentage of .505 and successfully handled 397 of 399 chances at first base.

Kloepping belted a team-best eight homers this season and finished with a .372 batting average while knocking in 35 runs and collecting 13 triples. The former NJCBA Rookie of the Year in 2005, Kloepping scored 33 runs and had 58 hits during the season.

Nunes hit .313 with 61 hits, five doubles, four triples and two home runs while swiping 17 bases from his leadoff position. An outstanding fielder, Nunes scored 52 runs and drove in 27.

Bionde appeared in 33 games during his first campaign with MSU, which included six starts. Bionde hit .326 going 14-of-43 at the plate with a double and nine runs batted in.