Baseball Outslugs Rutgers-Newark to Advance in NJAC Tournament

Box Score

Newark, NJ (5/6/10) – Senior rightfielder Scott Evangelist (Northfield, NJ / Holy Spirit) betled a home run and drove in two runs while Michael Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) and Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) each added two RBI as sixth-seeded Montclair State eliminated No. 3 seed Rutgers-Newark in a slugfest, 13-10 at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

The Red Hawks (21-16) are now 2-0 in the tournament and their victory now makes the conference tournament a four-team bracket when it continues on Saturday, May 8 at Rowan University. MSU will face No. 2 seed Kean at 8:00 am with the winner advancing to Sunday's championship round. The loser of the game will be forced to come back in an elimination contest at 4:00 pm.

Rutgers-Newark held a 9-7 lead after six innings with junior righthander Ryan Williams pitching through a rough start to be in line for the victory. Only three of the seven runs that he yielded were earned as he gave up eight hits while striking out six and walking just one.

But in a repeat of Tuesday’s 11-9 opening-round loss to The College of New Jersey, the bullpen could not hold onto a late lead. Freshman reliever Matt Larangera had two outs with two men on due to an infield error and a walk before Boggi and pinch hitter Michael Ercolano (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) came up with back-to-back doubles as the Red Hawks took the lead. A single to rightfield by Himmelfarb made it 11-9, Red Hawks. 

A two-run home run over the leftfield wall by sophomore catcher Anthony Palladino capped a six-run first inning for the Raiders which answered a two-run start by the Red Hawks. But a throwing error opened up the flood gates for four MSU runs in the top of the second to level the score. All four Red Hawk runs were unearned – including the rally-ending solo home run by Evangelist.

Senior leftfielderAnthony Yeswita’s second double of the game started a three-run rally in the fifth which staked the Raiders to a 9-7 edge. After a through-the-legs fielding error put senior third baseman Joe Furnaguera aboard and brought home Yeswita, junior shortstop Michael Cassese greeted senior reliever William Traverso with a two-run homer to left.

But the only Raider run after that was on a solo home run by Furnaguera to start the seventh inning when the Rutgers-Newark left the bases loaded to finish the frame. Closer Jack McDonough (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) coaxed a checked swing grounder back to the mound to kill the rally before earning a save by shutting out the Raiders on just one hit during the final two innings.