Ramapo Rally in Ninth Stuns Baseball, 8-7

Box Score

Little Falls, NJ (4/22/10) – Junior second baseman Mark Ruggiero (Fairfield, NJ / West Essex) blasted a three-run double to highlight a four-run ninth inning as Ramapo College stunned Montclair State with an 8-7 New Jersey Athletic Conference victory at Yogi Berra Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Ruggiero finished 2-for-5 with four RBI while Michael Hansford (Hillsborough, NJ / Hillsborough) blasted a two-run homer as the Roadrunners (15-13, 5-7 NJAC) returned the favor to MSU for a 4-3 defeat in Mahwah as week ago. In that game, Montclair State pushed across a run in the eighth inning for a 4-3 win.

Sophomore catcher Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) went 3-for-5 with two RBI for Montclair State, which has dropped two straight and four of its last five games. The Red Hawks are now 16-11 overall, 7-5 in the NJAC.

Montclair battled back from a 4-0 deficit with a five-run seventh and added single run in the eighth to take a 6-4 lead into the top of the ninth. But the Roadrunners started quickly as pinch hitter Joseph Della Serra (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) walked. Reliever Will Traverso (Verona, NJ / Verona) came on, but he gave up a single to Michael McGuckin (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne). Rob Dimperio (Jackson, NJ / Jackson) loaded the bases with a bunt single and a bases-loaded walk to Nicholas DiGirolamo (Dumont, NJ /Dumont) made the score 6-5. Ruggiero then smashed a double to the left center gap clearing the bases as Ramapo led 8-6.

The Red Hawks would threaten in the bottom of the ninth. Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) smacked a leadoff triple and after an out, Bond’s hard infield single scored Himmelfarb making the score 8-7. After a pop out, Bond stole second however he was stranded there as Tim Hannes (Allendale, NJ / Northern Highlands) struck out the pinch-hitter to end the ball game.

Hannes picked up the win as he went the final two innings allowing two runs and three hits, striking out two. Starter Travis Zilg (North Caldwell, NJ / West Essex), struck out 10 in 6 1/3 innings before leaving during Montclair’s five-run uprising.  Traverso took the loss to fall to 1-1. Starter Jack McDonough (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) pitched into the ninth and allowed five runs (three earned) and five hits, fanning three and walking three.

A trio of errors helped Ramapo to a 2-0 lead after three innings. DiGirolamo reached on an error to open the game and scored as Ruggiero line a double to right center giving the Roadrunners a 1-0 lead two batters into the contest. Ruggiero would also be involved in the second run as he reached on another error in the third and raced his way to third as a pickoff attempt went wide. He would score as Joey Cacchiola (Union, NJ / Union) dropped a single into centerfield.

Montclair State would battle back with its rally in the seventh. Michael Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) singled and Ivan Rodriguez (Newark, NJ / East Side) reached on an error. After an out, Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) walked to loaded the bases and the Red Hawks got their first run as Mickey McGraw (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) was hit by a pitch for the second of three times in the game, cutting the lead to 4-1. Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) was also hit to force in another run and Himmelfarb tied the game with a two-run single down the right field line. Bond then ripped a base hit through the left side to score Bionde as MSU took a 5-4 lead.

Montclair would add a run on in the eighth as Bionde doubled down the left field line to score Rodriguez. But on the play, the Roadrunner gunned down McGraw at the plate to keep the game at a two-run deficit.

Dan Moreno (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) had two hits for Ramapo while Himmelfarb was 2-for-5 for MSU as both teams registered nine in the game.

Montclair State returns to action on Friday, April 23 as they travel to William Paterson for a 3:30 pm NJAC contest with the Pioneers. Ramapo is back out on the road tomorrow evening as they face Lehman College in the Bronx at 6:00 pm.