Wild Rally in Ninth Inning Lifts Baseball Past Moravian, 11-10

Box Score Little Falls, NJ (4/29/10) - Junior shortstop Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) smacked a run-scoring double down the left field line with two-out in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap a six-run rally by Montclair State as the Red Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak with a wild 11-10 victory over Moravian College at Yogi Berra Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) belted a homer and drove in four runs as the Red Hawks (18-14) battled back after Moravian scored eight runs in its final two at bats. Jake Schweitzer (Bethlehem, PA / Bethlehem Catholic) was 3-for-4 with five RBI for the Greyhounds, who fell to 20-13 on the season with the tough defeat.

Montclair State led 5-2 heading into the top of the eighth inning, however the Greyhounds tied the game with three runs and then added five more in the ninth as Mike Zubia (Bethlehem, PA / Bethlehem Catholic) tripled with the bases loaded giving the visitors a 10-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Bionde worked out a walk to open the inning but was forced out at second on Andrew Himmelfarb’s (Nyack, NY / Nyack) ground ball. Scott Evangelist (Northfield, NJ / Spirit) walked to put runners on first and second. Bond brought them all home as he cracked a three-run homer to left field, his fifth of the season as MSU trailed 10-8. Montclair wasn’t three through as Mike Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) walked on four pitches and after a pitching change, Mickey McGraw (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) was hit by a pitch bringing the potential winning run to the plate in Matt Moreno (Park Ridge, NJ / Park Ridge). Moreno drove a single through the right side scoring Boggi to make it a one-run game and Kevin Miller (Bloomfield, NJ / Bloomfield) tied it at 10-10 lofting a sacrifice fly to center field. Sam Politan (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) kept the inning going with a base hit bringing up Bionde, the 10th batter in the inning. Bionde took the first pitch for a ball before stroking his game-winning double completing MSU’s improbable comeback.

The rally made a winner out of reliever Giovanni Caraballo (Elizabeth, NJ / Elizabeth), who got the final two outs of the ninth inning to earn his first win of the season (1-2). Philip Spence (Lafayette, NJ / Newton) took the loss to fall to 0-1.

Montclair State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Bond had an RBI single and Boggi delivered one with a ground out before McGraw’s two-out single plated the final run. The Greyhounds answered back with two runs in the second as Schweitzer singled in two but Montclair countered in its half as Jason Chesterman (Bloomfield, NJ / Bloomfield) tripled and score on Bionde’s RBI single to center for a 4-2 Red Hawks advantage.

MSU would extend the lead to 5-2 in the seventh as Evangelist drove in a run with a single. Moravian would tie the game in the eighth. Schweitzer had an RBI single and pinch-hitter Austin Rock (Arlington, VA / Flour Bluff) added two more with a base hit after fouling off five straight two-strike pitches.

Evangelist and McGraw had three hits each for MSU, which recorded 15 in the contest. Bionde, Bond and Politan each had two. Jacob Millen (Whitehall, PA / Whitehall) had three hits for the Greyhounds.

Montclair State returns to action on Friday, April 30 as they host local rival William Paterson in an NJAC matchup at Yogi Berra Stadium beginning at 3:30 pm.