Camden, N.J. (4/7/11) – Junior Mike Russo hurled a four-hitter as the Kean University baseball team defeated Rutgers University-Camden, 8-1, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action Thursday at Campbell's Field.
The #4/5 Cougars improve to 19-4 overall and 2-1 in the NJAC, winning eight of their last nine games. Rutgers-Camden falls to 7-10 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
Senior Nick Nolan tied the Kean University career mark with his 31st home run, tying Frank Beckhorn in the category.
Russo went the distance to raise his record to 5-0, allowing only one run and four singles. He finished with five walks and four strikeouts.
The Cougars collected 12 hits off of five Raptor pitchers, including seven in five innings off starter and losing pitcher Dan Fimiani. Fimiani (1-1) allowed six earned runs and five walks, while striking out four.
Kean took the lead for good in the top of the first inning. After loading the bases on a walk and a pair of singles, senior Ken Gregory delivered a sacrifice fly to left field. Fimiani then worked out of that threat with a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around a walk. The Cougars struck for two runs in the third when junior Lee Cavico walked and scored on a triple into the corner by senior Kyle Walker. Walker would then score on a single by junior Eddie Jennings.
The Raptors cut the gap to 3-1 with their run in the bottom of the third. Sophomore designated hitter George Spingler walked, stole second and continued to third on a throwing error. He would score on senior Tom Clarke's two-out single.
Nolan then moved up in the record books with a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Freshman Tyler Smarslok singled and junior Vinny Galya was hit by a pitch before Nolan unloaded his homer to left field.
The Cougars tacked on their final two runs in the sixth, sparked by an opposite-field homer to left by Gregory. Walker followed with a single, advanced on an infield out and scored on a single by senior Chris Carrano.
Walker went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI for Kean, while Nolan was 2-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI. Gregory went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI.
The two teams will complete their home-and-home NJAC series Friday with a 3:30 p.m. game at Jim Hynes Stadium.