Baseball Downs Kean to Remain in NJAC Tournament

Union, N.J. (5/2/09) - Freshman Zachary Brown (Green Village, N.J.) and sophomore Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, N.J.) each hit two homeruns and drove in all 11 runs to lead Montclair State University to an 11-6 victory over Kean University in an elimination game at the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday morning at Jim Hynes Stadium. 

Brown was 3-of-4 with five RBI and two runs scored, while both of Bond's hits were three-run homers for the second-seeded Red Hawks (25-14). 

For top-seeded Kean (33-9), sophomore left fielder Kyle Walker (Piscataway, N.J.) and rookie third baseman Nick Ramagli (Emerson, N.J.) each had three hits, as the Cougars now wait eight days for the announcement of the NCAA Division III baseball tournament. 

Kean took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Ramagli and junior second baseman Mike Moceri (Yardville, N.J.) had back-to-back one-out doubles and freshman Dylan Laguna (Edison, N.J.) followed with a RBI single to centerfield to take the early lead.

In the top of the third inning, the Red Hawks went ahead on Bond's first homerun of the game, a two-out, three-run homerun to left-centerfield to give Montclair State a 3-2 lead.

The bottom half of the third saw the Cougars regain the lead with a two-out, two-run rally of their own.  Laguna had a two-out single and after advancing to second base on a single by Walker, he would steal third and then score on a wild pitch to tie the game at 3-3.  Walker, who stole second and advanced to third on the wild pitch, would later score on a single by freshman designated player Vincent Gilstrap (Cranford, N.J.) to push Kean ahead, 4-3.

With two swings of the bat by Brown, Montclair State would tie the game and take the lead for good, as Brown's solo homerun in the top of fourth inning tied the game at 4-4 and his three-run homerun two innings later gave MSU a 7-4 lead. 

After the Cougars cut the lead to 7-5 on a RBI double by Ramagli in the bottom of the sixth, Bond followed with his second three-run homerun of the afternoon and a RBI double by Brown extended the Red Hawk lead to 11-5 in the seventh inning.

The Cougars would get one more run across in the bottom half of the inning on a RBI single by catcher Mike Manganiello (Berkeley Heights, N.J.), as Walker scored after reaching on a single earlier in the inning.

On the mound for Montclair State, junior left-hander Michael Vitale (Bayonne, N.J.) picked up the victory in relief, scattering six hits and two runs in four innings of work to improve to 4-2.  Brown pitched the final two innings for the Red Hawks, allowing no hits and striking out three. 

For Kean, Walker was 3-of-5 with two runs scored, while Ramagli was 3-of-5 with two doubles, one RBI and one run scored.