The Red Hawks rapped out 14 hits as they got back to the .500 mark at 9-9 overall, 3-1 in the NJAC. MSU has won three of its last four contests.
Sophomore second baseman Matt Connors (Hasbrouck Heights, NJ / Hasbrouck Heights) had two hits for the Scarlet Raiders, who fell to 12-7, 3-2 in the conference. The loss was just the second in the last eight games for Rutgers-Newark.
Raider starter Kevin Matawa (Wood-Ridge, NJ / Wallington) and Recchia matched scoreless inning through the first three with the latter putting up a fourth shutout inning before Montclair State put up five runs in the fourth to break the scoreless tie. It would be the first of five straight innings that MSU plated runs.
Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) led off with a single and stole second. After a walk to Evangelist, both runners moved up on a ground out. Ed Kloepping (Pennsville, NJ / Pennsville) drew a free pass to load the bases before Michael Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) bounced into a fielder’s choice brought home Bionde with the first run. The ball was misplayed allowing Evangelist to score as MSU led 2-0. Kloepping would score on a balk and the Red Hawks would execute a double steal with Boggi taking home for a four-run advantage. Matt Hartwick (Ringwood, NJ / Lakeland Regional) plated the final run with an RBI single.
Montclair would tack on three more in the fifth. Zach Brown (Green Village, NJ / Morristown) singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bionde. Evangelist then crushed a 2-2 pitch over the right field wall for his second homer of the season and a 7-0 MSU lead. Three pitches later it was Bond’s turn as he deposited a ball over the left-center wall for his team-leading fourth as Montclair led 8-0.
Bionde added a RBI single in the sixth inning, and after Rutgers-Newark got on the board in the seventh, the Red Hawks got that run back in its half as Jason Lopez (West New York, NJ / Memorial) collected an RBI single. Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) accounted for the final two runs with a double in the eighth.
Recchia (1-1) struck out four and walked two as he picked up his first decision of the year (1-0). He allowed five hits, four of them singles before three MSU relievers recorded the final nine outs. Matawa (1-1) suffered the loss allowing seven runs (four earned) and five hits in 4.1 innings. He struck out one and walked two.
Bionde and Brown each had two hits for Montclair State.
Both teams return to action with NJAC contests. Montclair State is off until Saturday, April 4 as they travel to Mahwah for a doubleheader with Ramapo beginning at 12:00 pm. Rutgers-Newark is at Riverfront Stadium on Friday, April 3 as the Scarlet Raiders host William Paterson at 3:30 pm.