Union, N.J. (2/23/14) – Sophomore Sal Taormina recorded three doubles on the afternoon as the third ranked Kean University baseball team earned a split with Gwynedd Mercy University, falling in game one, 5-3 and winning in the nightcap, 5-4.
Sophomore Ryan Reitmeyer combined for four hits, a triple and an RBI as Kean improved to 2-1 this season. The games are the first for the Griffins in 2014, putting them at 1-1.
The Cougars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second in the opener as junior Anthony Fischetti drove home senior Joe O'Connor who reached via a leadoff walk. Junior James Lyczkowski made it 2-0 as his sacrifice bunt was enough to score Taormina, who got on with one of his three doubles.
The score would remain that way until the Griffins found life in the seventh. With one run in on a two out passed ball, Gwynedd Mercy took the lead with one swing of the bat as second baseman Christopher Hens ripped a triple to left field, driving home two.
Kean responded in the bottom of the same inning as senior Shane Alvarez started off the frame with a hustle double to left center that dropped between three fielders. After swiping third, he came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore Ryan Kelley, knotting the game at three-all.
Outfielder Mike Marchitto started off the eighth with a triple and two batters later crossed the plate on a sacrifice line drive out to left from catcher John Burns. With two outs, outfielder Rick Elfreth keep things going with a double and he added insurance by scoring off a single from shortstop Frank Saviski.
Kean had an opportunity in their last at-bat with two runners in scoring position with one out, but reliever Andrew Hill was able to work out of the jam he caused with a strikeout and groundout to end the threat and seal the win.
Jamey Minnemeyer earned the win in relief. He tossed five innings allowing six hits and one run with five strikeouts. Hill allowed just one hit in the ninth for the save. Sophomore Chris Amato suffered the loss for the Cougars as he allowed two runs in two and a third innings of work, striking out three.
Offensively junior Andy Lopez led all players with three hits in game one.
Kean was first to strike in game two as Alvarez tripled in the first Cougar at-bat of the nightcap. Kelley made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly to left. Reitmeyer continued the triple parade with a two out triple in the second and Alvarez drove him home with a single for a 2-0 lead after two.
The Griffins got one back in their half of the third with a two out, RBI single up the middle from first baseman Dante Cassano. Gwynedd Mercy took the lead, aided by two Cougar miscues in the fourth, as they tallied three runs, taking a 4-2 lead.
The Cougars chipped away and plated single runs in the fourth and sixth to knot the game at four-all. Reitmeyer provided an RBI single in the fourth, scoring Taormina who reached on a leadoff double. In the sixth it was Taormina again with a one-out double, later crossing the plate on an RBI single through the left side from catcher Mike Kendall.
Kendall came up with the game-winning RBI in the eighth as he doubled down the rightfield line, driving home O'Connor who started off the inning with a walk, one of four for him on the afternoon.
Sophomore Vinny Zanfordino entered with one batter on in the ninth and picked up the save, allowing just one hit.
Senior Nick Zucchero earned the win after tossing eight plus innings allowing four runs, two earned and seven singles. He fanned seven and walked just one. Beau Fleming suffered the loss in relief for Gwynedd Mercy. He allowed the game-winning run and two hits in two innings on the mound.
Reitmeyer finished with three hits in game number two while Cassano and Heaney each added two hits and an RBI in the loss.
Kean returns to action on Monday when they face Neumann University at 2:45 p.m.