Baseball Rallies Past No. 11 Salisbury with Three-Run Ninth Inning, 7-6

Box Score

Little Falls, NJ (5/13/10) – Sophomore catcher Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) scored on a wild pitch to cap a three-run ninth inning by Montclair State as the Red Hawks closed out their home schedule at Yogi Berra Stadium with a 7-6 victory over No. 11 Salisbury University on Thursday afternoon.

Senior rightfielder Scott Evangelist (Northfield, NJ / Holy Spirit) went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs as the Red Hawks improved to 22-18 with the victory. Montclair State has two games remaining on its schedule as it will travel to Ithaca College for a weekend set with the Bombers on May 15 and 16th.

Chad Wolfe (Thurmont, MD/Catoctin) and Brian Green (Salisbury, MD / Parkside) each had two RBI for the Salisbury, which closed out its schedule at 27-11. The Sea Gulls will now wait for the selections for the NCAA Division III Baseball Championship which gets underway next week.

Salisbury led 6-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) singled through the middle to open Montclair’s final at bat. Mickey McGraw (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) then took a 2-0 count before the Sea Gulls went to the bullpen and brought in Bill Morton (Newark, DE / Newark). Morton got the count even at 2-2 but uncorked a wild pitch allowing Bionde to go to second. McGraw would walk and Evangelist brought both runners home as he tripled to right-centerfield tying the game at 6-6. Salisbury then intentionally walked Bond and Michael Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) to load the bases with no one out. Morton would get one out on a force out at the plate, however on the first pitch to Ercolano, Morton’s pitch went into the dirt allowing Bond to score with the winning run.

The rally made a winner out of senior righthander Will Traverso (Verona, NJ / Verona). Traverso (3-2) pitched the final two innings allowing two runs and two hits, striking out two and walking two. Lefthander John Masklee (Totowa, NJ / Seton Hall Prep) went the first five innings allowing four runs (two earned) and five hits with three strikeouts. Righty Dan Nodarse (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) threw two scoreless innings in relief. All three along with Evangelist were honored prior to the game on Senior Day.

Morton took the loss, his first decision of the season.

Salisbury opened the game with a three-run first inning. Andrew Miller (Schwenksville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) reached on an error and Brad Baylis (Pocomoke, MD/ Pocomoke) singled to put runners at the corners. Mike Celenza (Gaithersburg, MD/Quince Orchard) followed with a base hit to drive in the first run and Green  added another hits to score Baylis as the Sea Gulls went up 2-0. Matt O’Keefe (Gaithersburg, MD/Quince Orchard) infield single brought home the final run as Salisbury led 3-0.

The Sea Gulls extended the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning as Green delivered a run with a sacrifice fly however Montclair responded with two in its half to cut the lead to two runs. Bionde singled with one out and McGraw tripled up the right-center gap driving in the first Red Hawk run. Evangelist then lofted a sacrifice fly as MSU trimmed the lead back to 4-2.

Montclair State tied the game in the eighth. Boggi singled to open the inning. Himmelfarb hit a sharp grounder back through the middle that appeared as if it would be turned into a double play. However, Herbert caught a piece of ball knocking it down leaving him with only a play at first as Boggi moved to second. That proved to be big as Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) blasted a two-run homer to left center on an 0-1 count tying the game at 4-4.

In the ninth, Salisbury would take the lead thanks in part to a two-out rally. Celenza kept the inning going with a hard single through the middle of the infield and Green was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and second. Wolfe lined a shot to center field that got over the head of Boggi allowing both runners to score as the Sea Gulls took a 6-4 lead.

Bionde and Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) had two hits apiece for Montclair State.