Kean Comeback in Game Two Leads to Stunning Sweep of Baseball

Game #1 Box Score / Game #2 Box Score

Little Falls, N.J. (4/24/10) – Junior Ken Gregory was a combined 5-for-10 with five RBI while senior Steve Montalbano picked up a win and a save as Kean swept Montclair State University in thrilling fashion 10-7 & 11-9, Saturday afternoon from Yogi Berra Stadium.

Down 9-0 heading into the eighth inning of game two, the Cougars (24-9, 10-4 NJAC) rallied with six runs and after holding the Red Hawks scoreless (17-13, 8-7 NJAC) continued with five more in the top of the ninth to take the lead and seal down the win for the sweep. Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) was 5-for-7 with six RBI for MSU.

Game One

The early going of game one belonged to Kean as the Cougars scored seven runs in the first two innings to take an early 7-0 lead.  Heading into the second frame up 1-0, KU sent 11 men to the plate while banging out seven hits.  Ryan Gibbons got things going with an RBI single followed by an RBI single by Dave Zavistoski.  Senior Mike Moceri lofted an RBI sacrifice fly while sophomore Lee Cavico had an RBI single.  Sophomore Dylan Laguna knocked in two with a single in his second at-bat of the frame to close out the scoring. 

The Red Hawks made things interesting as they recorded two in their half of the third and another three in the fourth to close in at 7-5.  With two outs in the third, Michael Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) and Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) each had RBI singles while Bondcleared the bases with two outs in the fourth on a ball hit into center that was lost in the afternoon sun.

The Cougars scored a single run in the seventh off a sacrifice fly from junior Chris Carrano to go ahead 8-5, but MSU answered with two more in the eighth as Bond had an RBI single and Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) scored off a Cougar miscue.

Kean secured the win with two insurance runs in the top of the ninth and as Montalbano sealed the bottom of the ninth facing just four batters.

Reliever Brandon Bujnowski earned the win in game one.  Bujnowski (1-0) allowed one run and five hits in two and two thirds inning of relief.  Montalbano earned his first save by tossing two and two thirds innings allowing just one run earned run with four hits.  He fanned four. Sean Hille (Edison, NJ / Edison) suffered the loss for Montclair.  Hille (6-2) allowed eight runs, just two earned, in seven innings. 

Bond finished 4-for-5, while Ercolano had three hits for MSU. Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) was 2-for-5.

Game Two

Montclair State controlled most of the second game scoring in five of the first seven innings of action, holding Kean to just two hits in the same time period, taking a 9-0 lead.

MSU scored twice in the first inning on RBIs by Bond and Boggi and plated three more in the second. Kevin Miller (Bloomfield, NJ / Bloomfield) had an RBI single and Bionde tripled home a run before Scott Evangelist's (Northfield, NJ / Holy Spirit) run-scoring hit made the score 5-0.

The lead grew to 7-0 in the third on one swing of the bat by Ercloano, who launched a two-run homer to left field. A Bond RBI double in the fourth and a Boggi solo homer in the seventh gave Montclair the 9-0, which looked to be in good hands as starter Daniel Nodarse (Rutherford, NJ / Rutherford) allowed just two hits through the first seven innings.

The Kean bats came alive in top of the eighth, plating six runs.  Pinch-hitter Sean Kelly got the ball rolling with an RBI double.  After loading the bases, Moceri lofted his second sacrifice fly of the afternoon.  Gregory provided the next big punch with a three RBI homerun to right-center, his third of the year.  Later in the inning, Laguna provided an RBI double to close out the scoring as Kean pulled to 9-6.

Montalbano entered the game and shut down the next three MSU batters to send Kean into the ninth with their final chance.  Sophomore Vinny Galya started things off with a leadoff double.  Moceri put the score at 9-7 with an RBI single.  Gregory followed with an RBI single of his own and junior Nick Nolan tied the game at nine all with another RBI single.  Nolan and sophomore D.J. Breckenridge both came around to score on a double-steal that ended with an MSU miscue.

Montalbano allowed just one hit in between striking out the side to seal the win. Reliever Giovanni Caraballo (Elizabeth, NJ / Elizabeth) took the loss to fall to 1-1.

Boggi, Evangelist and Miller had two hits apiece for Montclair.

The Red Hawks look to get back on the winning track on Tuesday, April 27 as they travel to Pennsylvania to face York College in a 3:30 pm contest.