Mahwah, NJ (4/8/11) – Junior lefthander Sean Hille (Edison, NJ / St. Joseph's (Metuchen)) really enjoys pitching at Ramapo College's Jeff Maund Field. A year after throwing a complete-game victory against the Roadrunners, Hille tossed a two-hit shutout as Montclair State gained a split of its home-and-home set against Ramapo with a 9-0 victory on Friday afternoon.
The Red Hawks avenged a 9-5 loss on Thursday with their second shutout of the year as MSU improved to 11-6 overall, 3-1 in the NJAC. Both shutouts this season have involved Hille, who went eight scoreless innings in his previous start, a 3-0 win versus Rutgers-Camden at Yogi Berra Stadium on April 2.
Hille improved to 3-1 as he struck out eight and walked two in his 100-pitch performance. Hille, who defeated Ramapo 4-3 in Mahwah in 2010, got 12 of his 27 outs via ground balls. The only blemishes on Hille's scorecard in the game came in the third inning on a ground ball that was ruled a base hit and a blooped single to lead off the ninth.
Meanwhile, the Red Hawk bats gave Hille plenty of support as Montclair scored all of its runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. MSU collected 11 hits in the game, two by first baseman Jason Chesterman (Bloomfield, NJ / Bloomfield) as well as two RBI by senior shortstop Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock).
MSU took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Zach Brown (New Vernon, NJ / Morristown) walked and went to second on a ground out. After Mickey McGraw (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) was hit by a pitch, Bionde lined a single to right scoring Brown as Montclair State took a 1-0 lead. McGraw, who advanced to third on the base hit later scored on a passed ball.
The Red Hawks extended that lead in the fourth with five runs to build a 7-0 lead. Montclair loeaded the bases on a walk, base hit and error before Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) singled to center scoring the first run. Chesterman came home on a double play for the second run and Bionde made it 5-0 as he poked a single through the left side scoring Brown. Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) collected an RBI single and the rally was capped off as Anthony Bowens (Nutley, NJ / Nutley) crossed the plate on a passed ball.
Montclair's final two runs came in the fifth. Chesterman led off with a single, Brown walked and Himmelfarb had a base hit to load the bases. McGraw drew a walk to force in the first run and Brown scored on another double plays as MSU increased its lead to 9-0.
The rest was left to Hille, who retired the first seven batters down in order before giving up an infield hit to Pat Driscoll with one out in the third. The next batter reached on an error but Hille got out of the inning on a fly out and fielder's choice.
Ramapo's best threat came in the fifth without the benefit of a hit. A hit batter to open the frame was followed by two fly outs. Hille issued a walk and the uncorked a wild pitch to put runners on second and third. The left induced another ground out to end the inning.
In the ninth, the Roadrunners got their second hit, a leadoff single by Robert Ghiretti. After an out, Hille walked his second batter, but got got a double play to finish off his first career shutout.
Montclair State returns to action on Saturday, April 9 with an NJAC doubleheader at No. 4/5 Kean University. First pitch of the twinbill at Jim Hynes Field is slated for 11:30 am.