CAMDEN – Kean scored nine runs over the final three innings to break up a one-run pitchers’ duel and went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden, 10-2, in NJAC action Thursday afternoon at Campbell’s Field.
Kean improves to 18-9 overall and evens its record at 4-4 in the NJAC. Rutgers-Camden falls to 12-11 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
Most of the game was a tight duel between freshman Kevin Herget (Park Ridge) and Rutgers-Camden junior John Diamond (Mt. Holly). The Cougars notched a second-inning run on a two-out RBI single by sophomore catcher Eddie Jennings (Jackson) and the game stayed that way into the seventh inning. Diamond allowed only six hits through the first six innings and Herget was even sharper, shutting out the Scarlet Raptors on only four hits through six innings. Herget hurled no-hit ball for three innings until Raptor senior shortstop Kyle Ballay (Delran)lined an infield single to open the fourth inning.
Both teams left the bases loaded once in that six-inning span as Kean stranded three runners in the third, aided by a huge inning-ending catch by Camden and Rutgers-Camden left the bags full in the fifth.
The Cougars opened up the game with a three-run seventh. The first four men reached base on three hits and a hit batsman, including a high-bounding single over first base and into right field by senior shortstop Dave Zavistoski (Edison), which produced two runs. Senior Mike Moceri (Yardville) followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Cougars added a run in the eighth on an RBI double by Jennings before the Scarlet Raptors got on the board in the bottom of the eighth. Ballay opened the inning with a double to left and scored on a one-out double to left by senior Greg Hunt (Marlton). A bases-loaded walk to sophomore pinch-hitter Joe Merlino (Pine Hill) later made it a 5-2 game, but the Raptors left the tying runs on base as the Cougars got out of the bases-loaded jam on a fly out.
Kean quickly put the game away in the ninth, scoring five times on a walk and four hits. Moceri and sophomore first baseman Lee Cavico (North Brunswick) had RBI singles in the frame, while sophomore outfielder Dylan Laguna (Edison) doubled home another run. The explosion was capped by a long two-run home run down the left field line by junior right fielder Nick Nolan (Linden).
For the game, Cavico and Jennings each had three hits to lead a 15-hit Cougar attack. Moceri, Nolan and sophomore designated hitter D.J. Breckenridge (Fair Haven) each added two hits.
Herget (4-0) worked seven and a third innings to pick up the win, allowing six hits, four walks and two earned runs. He struck out nine, including a stretch of five straight beginning with one out in the second inning.
Kean will play a home doubleheader Saturday when they host Ramapo College at 11:30 a.m.
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