Long Day for Baseball Ends in Split

Fayetteville, NC (3/19/09) - It took nearly 12 hours beginning in the afternoon and ending in the early morning hours and in the end, the Montclair State baseball team earned a split in two games. MSU (3-6) knocked off Averett University 14-11 in 11 innings in the afternoon before falling to Methodist College 12-11 in game completed just before 2:00 am.

Junior Scott Evangelist (Northfield, NJ / Holy Spirit) had a home run and five RBI in the two contests.

The extra-long day for MSU came about as the Red Hawks added the extra game after they were rained out on Sunday and Monday. Montclair began with a game in Danville, VA against Averett University that needed extra innings to decide. Following the game, Montclair boarded its bus and traveled 190 miles to Fayetteville, NC where the first pitch of the game began at 10:02 pm at Methodist College.

Playing throughout a steady rain versus the Monarchs, Montclair’s long drive seemed to have no effect as the Red Hawks scored three times in the top of the first inning. Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) drove in one run with a ground ball and later scored on a steal attempt. Mickey McGraw (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) recorded the final run with a base hit.

Methodist came back to tie the game in the second, but Montclair moved back in front in the third with three more runs. Mike Kaminski (Neshanic Station, NJ / Somerville) and Kevin Miller (Bloomfield, NJ / Bloomfield) each drove in a run with singles while Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) doubled to drive in the other as Montclair led 6-3.

However in the bottom of the inning, the Monarchs capitalized on two errors and scored seven times to take the lead 10-6.

Still Montclair State clawed its way back with two runs in the fourth on a sacrifice fly and RBI single by Matt Hartwick (Ringwood, NJ / Lakeland Regional). The Red Hawks then took the lead in the top of the fifth with three runs. Bond walked with the bases loaded and the Red Hawks got two more on a fielder’s choice and sac fly to an 11-10 advantage.

With the rains coming down and making the field conditions nearly unplayable, the bottom of the fifth would be the last inning and Methodist took advantage scoring two runs. Tripp Lancaster drew a walk and stole second. Mike Twichellpinch hit with two outs and also reached on a walk. Methodist pitcher Landon Jordanentered as a pinch runner on first in his first collegiate appearance on the bases.Trey Such had yet to reach base previously, but with a full count hit a single to the gap in right center allowing Lancaster to score and Jordan to slide in before the tag scoring the game-winning run.

The Red Hawks nearly 18-hour day began with an extra-inning contest at Averett as MSU avenged a loss from Wednesday with a 14-11 victory.

Montclair jumped out to a 4-0 lead after its first three at-bats as Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ /Vernon) singled home a run in the first and Evangelist added a two-run single in the seconds before Miller plated a run with an RBI single in the third.

The Cougars would claw back cutting the lead to 5-3 in the fourth, however Montclair widened the gap with three runs in the seventh. Bionde plated the first run with a double and Evangelist cracked a two-run single to left center to give MSU an 8-3 lead.

But that lead would not hold as Averett got back two runs in the eighth and after Montclair tacked on a run in the top of the ninth, the Cougars tied the game with four in its final at bat to force the extra innings. Averett tied the game on Brian Knowles’safety squeeze bunt, which scored Jake Loye from third base, with two outs. Knowles advanced to second on an errant throwt o first base, but the Cougars couldn’t get him home.

Montclair was able to shrug off the comeback and scored five times in the top of the tenth. Joseph Zembryski (Rutherford, NJ/ St. Peter’s Prep) delivered the first run with an RBI single and Scott Glozzy (Hackettstown, NJ / WarrenHills) made it 11-0 with a double that scored Zembryski. Jason Lopez (West New York, NJ / Memorial) would walk to put runners at the corners and both came around to score as Adam Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ/ Gov. Livingston) tripled to put MSU ahead, 13-9. Matt Gelston (White Plains, NY / White Plains) singled home the final run.

But Averett did not go away scoring twice in the bottom ofthe 10th drawing within 14-11. Freshman Giovanni Caraballo (Elizabeth, NJ / Elizabeth) was able to get the final out as Montclair captured its first game of its six-game swing through the North Carolina-Virginia region. Caraballo earned his first career win (1-0).

ionde had three hits for Montclair State, which collected 20 in the contest. Ercolano, Kaminski,  Miller and Bergman each had two hits for the Red Hawks. Senior righthander Michael Streaman (Westfield, NJ / Westfield) pitched seven innings allowing three runs and eight hits. He fanned four and walked one.

Montclair State concludes its trip on Friday, March 20 as the Red Hawks face Lynchburg College at 2:00 pm.