Baseball Sweeps Rowan; Locks Down No. 2 Seed for NJAC Tournament
Montclair State improves to 22-13 overall and 13-5 in the conference. Rowan has a 20-13-1 record with a 9-9 NJAC mark. Both teams advance to the NJAC Championship Tournament. The conference tournament begins on Tuesday, April 28 and continues on Thursday, April 30 and Saturday-Sunday, May 2-3. The games on Tuesday and Thursday will be played at the home sites of the three highest seeds. Saturday and Sunday’s games will move to the site of the highest remaining seed. The NJAC champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
In the first game, the score was tied at three after the ninth inning. In the top of the 10th, left fielder Mickey McGraw (fr. Morristown, NJ/Morristown) led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Michael Boggi (jr. Towaco, NJ/Montville) got on base on an error and McGraw went to third. Third baseman Michael Kaminski (so. Neshanic Station, NJ/Somerville) followed with a single through the right side that plated McGraw. Boggi scored on a successful suicide squeeze by first baseman Jason Lopez (sr. West New York, NJ/Memorial).
Right-hander Zachary Brown (fr. Green Village, NJ/Morristown) was the winning pitcher. Brown (1-2) pitched the final 2.2 innings without giving up a hit. Righty Todd Burdette (so. Succasunna, NJ/Roxbury) took the loss. Burdette (1-1) was on the mound for 1.2 innings in relief and allowed two runs, one earned.
Montclair State catcher Kevin Bond (so. Cedar Grove, NJ/Cedar Grove) went one for two with three RBIs, one run scored and a home run. Designated hitter Ed Kloepping (sr. Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville) contributed with one hit (three at bats), two runs scored and a double. McGraw and Boggi both scored a run, while Lopez and Kaminski recorded one RBI apiece.
For Rowan, designated hitter Matt Johanson (jr. Sewell, NJ/Washington Twp.) posted two hits (four at bats), two RBIs and one run scored. Left fielder Scott Weaver (so. Ledgewood, NJ/Roxbury) was one for three with two runs scored. Right fielder John McMullin (sr. Woodbury, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) had a double and one RBI.
Rowan went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Johanson singled in Weaver and McMullin’s double brought Johanson home. Montclair State cut the deficit to one (2-1) in the top of the second. Kloepping led off with a double and he scored on a ground out by Bond. The Profs had a 3-1 advantage following Johanson’s RBI single in the third. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Bond blasted a two run homer over the right field fence to tie the game (3-3).
In the nightcap, right-hander Daniel Nodarse (jr. Rutherford, NJ/Rutherford) tossed six scoreless innings for the win. Nodarse (3-1) scattered five hits. Righty Jay Gallen (jr. Gibbsboro, NJ/Bishop Eustace) suffered the loss. Gallen (5-1) allowed seven runs, six earned in five innings, while striking out eight batters.
Bond went one for three with four RBIs, one run scored and a home run. Lopez added one hit (three at bats), two RBIs, one run scored and a triple. Shortstop Jay Bionde (so. Pompton Plains, NJ/Pequannock) and Kloepping each crossed the plate twice. McGraw was one for four with one RBI and one run scored.
Weaver registered three hits in four at bats for the Profs. Right fielder Michael Scott (so. Lafayette, NJ/High Point Reg.) had a double and scored once. Catcher Bill Donovan (fr. Mantua, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) went one for one with one RBI.
The Red Hawks scored three runs in the fourth inning. Lopez hit a two RBI triple and scored on a throwing error. In the top of the fifth, Bond recorded a grand slam to put Montclair State up 7-0. The Red Hawks tacked on four runs in the sixth. Bionde doubled in Brown and McGraw’s single plated Kaminski. Bionde came home on a sacrifice fly and McGraw scored on a ground out. Rowan’s lone run was in the bottom of the eighth. Donovan singled in Scott, who reached base with a double.