Kean Defeats Keystone to Win NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship

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Moosic, PA – Kean University scored two runs apiece in the fifth, sixth, and eighth innings on their way to a 6-1 victory over Keystone College on Sunday in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship Game.  The 10th ranked Cougars improve to 38-11 on the season and advance to the NCAA Division III College World Series which begins next Friday, May 24th in Appleton, Wisconsin while the Giants close another outstanding season with a 37-10 record.
Keystone's Tyler Gurman (Bronx, NY/Lehman), Rob Rogers (Islip, NY/Islip), Ricky Riscica (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich), and Rick McLaughlin (Hamilton, NJ/Steinert) were each named to the All-Tournament Team
The Giants forced Sunday's deciding Championship Game with a 2-0 win over Kean, Keystone's first win in 17 contests against the Cougars on Saturday afternoon, behind a complete game one-hitter by Rogers after the Giants won a thrilling, 11-inning elimination game over Misericordia University on a walkoff single by Lymbel Guerrero (Lynn, MA/Lynn Classical) earlier on Saturday. 
Kean, the top seed in this year's tournament, has now won three consecutive Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships and has claimed six of the last seven regional titles.
Austin Straub (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius) hit a one-out single through the middle in the top of the first inning of Sunday's championship game for Keystone, but the Cougars turned a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning before using singles from Tyler Smarslok and Andy Lopez to put a pair of runners on with one out in the home first and after a hit batsman with two outs loaded the bases, Giants starter Mike Pembleton (Oakhurst, NJ/Ocean Township) got his third strikeout of the inning to escape the early threat.
Gabriel Ramirez (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Perkiomen School) led off the Keystone second with a single to center but after a flyout, Kean again used a double play to end the inning after Ramirez was called for interference trying to break up a groundball double play.
Ryan Kelley drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the second inning for the Cougars and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Reitmeyer, but after taking a big turn at second, Keystone first baseman caught Kelley in a rundown where he was eventually tagged out for the second out of the inning.  Michael Kendall then hit a two-single up the middle before Pembleton got a popout to second to end the inning.
Gabriel Molina (Bronx, NY/James Monroe) singled to center, Riscica walked, and McLaughlin dribbled an infield single up the third base line to load the bases for Keystone with one out in the top of the fifth inning, but Kean starter Charles Thielmann worked out of the jam with a flyout followed by a strikeout.
Smarslok was hit by a pitch to lead off the home fifth and moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt.  Lopez then walked to put runners on the corners and Kean took scored the first run of the game on a bunt single by Nick Ramagli.  Another walk loaded the bases for the Cougars before the Giants got the first out of the inning on a fielders' choice at the plate.  Kelley then singled to left to bring home Lopez to make it a 2-0 game before Keystone reliever Zachary Duffy (Rockville Center, NY/Oceanside) got a pair of huge strikeouts to work out of the frame without any further damage. 
After Thielmann retired the Giants in order in the visitor's sixth, Shane Alvarez led off the bottom half of the inning with an infield single before Smarslok was hit by a pitch.  The two runners then moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Lopez.  Keystone then intentionally walked Ramagli to load the bases before Joe O'Connor worked a walk to plate Alvarez to push Kean's lead to three runs.  Salvatore Taormina then hit a sacrifice fly to deep center bringing in Smarslok, stretching the Cougars' advantage to 4-0. 
Molina worked a one-out walk in to the top of the seventh inning, but Kean turned their third double play of the contest to end the inning. The Cougars put runners on the corners with two outs in the half of the inning, but after Keystone reliever Felix Lopez (Brooklyn, NY/Grand Street Campus) threw over to first, the Giants caught the runner from third out at the plate trying to steal home.
After the Giants went down in order in the top of the eighth inning, Ramagli launched a two-run home run over the left field fence to push Kean's lead to 6-0. 
Kevin Catherina (Ridgefield, NJ/St. Mary (Rutherford)) singled to leadoff the Keystone ninth and Straub followed with an infield base hit that allowed Catherina to move to third after an error by the Cougars.  Gurman then singled to center to bring Catherina home to put the Giants on the board, but the Cougars fourth double play of the game pushed Keystone down to their final out which Thielmann got via a flyout to end game.
Thielmann, who would go on to be named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, improved to 10-2 on the season with the complete game victory in which he allowed seven hits and two walks while striking out five  batters on the day.
Lopez went 3-3 to lead the Cougars while Ramagli added a pair of hits and three RBIs.  Smarslok and Kendall finished with two hits apiece as well in the victory.
Pembleton took a no-decision after working four scoreless innings in which he allowed four hits while walking one and striking out three batters. Duffy (2-1) suffered the loss after coming on in relief in the fifth inning and allowed four runs on three hits and three walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings on the mound.  Robert Minaya (North Bergen, NJ/North Bergen) yielded two hits and one walk while fanning one in 1.1 innings scoreless innings of work while Lopez allowed two runs on two hits while also pitching 1.1 innings.
Straub led Keystone's offense with two hits on the day.
Sunday's championship game marked the final appearance in a Keystone uniform for the Giants' 10 seniors: Felix Lopez (Brooklyn, NY/Grand Street Campus), Rob Rogers (Islip, NY/Islip), Gabriel Ramirez (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Perkiomen School), Miquel Castano (Miami, FL/Miami Springs), Austin Straub (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius), Justin Martinez (Bronx, NY/Clifton), Zachary Duffy (Rockville Center, NY/Oceanside), Gabriel Molina (Bronx, NY/James Monroe), Adam Krebs (Commack, NY/Commack), and Patrick Robinson (Goshen, NY/Goshen), who won four-straight Colonial States Athletic Conference Championships, appearing in the NCAA Regional Tournament all four years including a trip to the College World Series in 2011.