Second Inning Holds Up as Rowan Edges Kean, 4-3

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Union, N.J. (5/4/13) – Rowan University used a two out rally in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead and it held up as the Profs defeated host Kean University,4-3, in NJAC Tournament action on Saturday morning.

The win sends Rowan (31-12) into the championship game on Sunday at noon.  The loss forces the Cougars (32-9) into the elimination bracket where they will now face William Paterson University or Ramapo College at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon.  The winner of that contest would have to defeat the Profs twice on Sunday in order to capture the tournament title.

With two outs and a runner on third in the top of the second, junior Eric Sellitto worked a walk.  Junior Eric Perez gave the Profs their first run of the innings with a single through the left side.  Sophomore Ryan Williams followed with a single up the middle, giving Rowan a 2-0 lead.  Williams would go on to swipe second and leadoff batter Nick Kreiger drove them both in with another single up the middle, giving Rowan a 4-0 lead.

The Cougars answered right back in the same frame as rookie Ryan Kelley ripped a two-out triple to center.  Freshman Michael Kendall punched a single back up the middle to erase the shutout.  Rookie Matt Meleo picked up one his four hits on the day with an RBI single, inching Kean closer at 4-2.  Junior Tyler Smarslok then lined what looked to be a gapper, but Williams timed his jump perfectly at short and snow-coned the ball for the final out of the inning.

Kean tacked on another run in the sixth, again with a two-out rally.  Rookie Salvatore Taormina hit a ground-rule double down the rightfield line to get things started.  Kelley followed with an RBI single, putting the score at 4-3. 

Meleo led the Cougars with a 4-for-5 day while Perez led the Profs with a 3-for-4 performance. 

On the mound, sophomore Dylan Johannik (4-0) picked up the win as he tossed seven and a third innings allowing three runs and 10 hits with two walks and six strikeouts.  Senior Jeff White earned the save, his second of the season, as he tossed one and a third innings of relief, with a strikeout.  Sophomore Charles Thielmann suffered the loss for Kean.  Thielmann (7-2) tossed a complete game, allowing 10 hits and four runs with two walks and six strikeouts.