Baseball Gets By Stockton Twice

Little Falls, NJ (4/19/08) – The Montclair State baseball team worked some late-inning magic in the opener and then held off Richard Stockton from doing the same in the nightcap as the Red Hawks swept an NJAC doubleheader from the Ospreys at Yogi Berra Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Stephen Piscitello (Hauppague, NY / Hauppague) brought home the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the opener for a 6-5 win while Marty Cabalar (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills) got the final out with the tying and winning runs on base as MSU completed the sweep with a 9-8 triumph.

The victories ran Montclair State’s winning streak to five as the Red Hawks moved to 19-11 overall, 11-3 in the NJAC, while Richard Stockton fell to 19-12 overall and a game below .500 in the conference at 7-8.

Stockton ’s Chris Discher ( Cherry Hill, NJ / Cherry Hill West) singled home a run in the top of the ninth to give the Ospreys a 5-3 lead. But in the bottom of the inning Rob Clark ( Livingston, NJ / Seton Halll Prep) drew a leadoff walk and Kevin Cuozzi ( Langhorne, PA / Neshaminy) singled with both runners moving up a base on an error. Michael Nunes ( Hazlet, NJ / Hazlet) singled through the right side scoring Clark to make the score 5-4. Nunes would steal second and the Ospreys walked Lou Politan ( Livingston, NJ / Livingston) to load the bases. Jeff Miller ( Wyckoff, NJ / Ramapo) lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game and Piscitello delivered the game-winning run with a fly ball to left to complete the Red Hawks’ comeback win.

Senior righthander Tim Stringer ( Annandale, NJ / North Hunterdon) picked up the victory in relief to move to 3-4 as he pitched the final two innings. Sophomore John O’Hara ( Clayton, NJ / Gloucester Catholic) took the loss to fall to 1-1.

Nunes finished 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI while Clark, Miller and Cuozzi each had two hits for Montclair State. Discher and Jeff Lundell ( Henderson, NV / Kentridge) had three hits apiece for the Ospreys.

In the second game, Montclair State led 8-0 in the seventh when Richard Stockton began a furious comeback with one out in the inning. Matt Hunt ( Marlton, NJ / St. Joseph’s) scored on a wild pitch to put the Ospreys on the board and Eddie Ortiz ( Vineland, NJ / Vineland) singled in the infield to plate the second run. Pat Goodwin (Mays Landing, NJ / Holy Spirit) walked with the bases loaded to force in another run and Scott Fisher’s ( Toms River, NJ / Toms River East) two-run double brought Stockton within 8-5.

Montclair State got a run back in the bottom of the inning as Vicente Medina (North Bergen, NJ / Paramus Catholic) singled home a run, but again the Ospreys battled back with three runs in the eighth to get within 9-8. Ortiz drove in the first with a sacrifice fly and Goodwin later added a two-run single as MSU managed to get out of the inning with the lead still in tact.

In the ninth, MSU would get the first two outs, but A.J. Senerchia (Lincroft, NJ / Middletown South) singled to center to keep the Ospreys alive and Matt Allen (Salem, NJ / Woodstown) followed with a base hit down the left field line to putting the tying run 90 feet away. Cabalar, the seventh MSU pitcher, came on a saw Allen steal second, but the rigthander got Ortiz to fly out to center to earn his first save of the season.

Montclair State Jairo Mendez ( Kearny, NJ / Kearny) picked up the win as he was staked to the 8-0 lead. Mendez (3-1) went 6 1/3 allowing a run and three hits, striking out five and walking three. Senior Amit Shah ( Maple Shade, NJ / Maple Shade) took the loss to fall to 2-5.

The Red Hawks built their lead with a run in the third as Politan drove home a run with a base hit and the advantage was extended in the fourth as Cuozzi belted a three-run homer to left field. Miller’s RBI single in the fifth made the score, 5-0 and Nunes provided a three-run triple in the sixth to give MSU the eight-run cushion.

Both teams return to action on Tuesday, April 22. Montclair State will host Johns Hopkins University under the lights of Yogi Berra Stadium at 7:00 pm. Richard Stockton is home to Neumann College at Bernie Robbins Stadium in Atlantic City in a 4:00 pm start.