UNION – Sophomore Ryan Gibbons broke a seven all tie in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI double as Kean University defeated visiting Richard Stockton College, 8-7, Tuesday afternoon in NJAC Tournament action.
With the win #2 Kean advances to take on #4 The College of New Jersey who defeated #3 Rutgers-Newark, 11-9. With the loss #5 Richard Stockton faces #1 Rowan University, who fell by the final of 3-2 in 11 innings against Montclair State.
Down 7-2 heading into the top of the seventh, the Ospreys (19-18) rallied for three runs to close within 7-5. With two outs senior Matt Allen walked to load the bases. Freshman Barry Larro pushed across the first run with an RBI single, but a Cougar miscue in the outfield helped to clear the bases on the same play. In the top of the eighth Stockton tied it up with an RBI single by sophomore Dan McGuckin and a sacrifice squeeze from senior Chris Discher.
Kean then scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eight as rookie Steve Nappe started off the inning with a walk. With two outs, Gibbons lined a double into the gap to drive in what would be the winning run.
Senior Steve Montalbano picked up the win in relief. Montalbano (6-4) tossed two innings allowing one run and two hits with one strikeout.
Sophomore Bryan Frank suffered the loss for the Ospreys. Frank (2-3) allowed two runs and five hits in four and two thirds innings of work.
Earlier in the contest, Kean jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a single run in the first and two runs apiece in the second and third. Senior Mike Moceri provided an RBI single in the first while Lee Cavico and Eddie Jennings recorded RBI in the second. Junior Ken Gregory launched his fifth homerun of the year, a two-run shot in the third.
Moceri, Jennings and Gregory each finished with two hits for Kean. Sophomore Mike Wasco was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Ospreys.
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