#3/4 Kean Outlasts Alvernia, 12-11

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Reading, Pa. (3/20/14) – Sophomore Ryan Kelley tallied five RBI as the Kean University baseball team outslugged Alvernia University by the final of 12-11 Wednesday afternoon.

It was a game of big innings as the #3/4 Cougars (12-2) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as senior Matt Horican led off the game with a single.  He would later come around to score on an RBI single from Kelley.  Kelley made it 2-0 when he crossed the plate on a double-steal attempt.

The lead was short lived for Kean as Alvernia (9-3) struck with a five spot in the bottom of the same inning all with two outs.  The Crusaders took advantage of four walks and an errant throw, giving them what turned out to be their only lead of the game.

Kean took the lead for good with four runs in the fourth.  After catcher D.J. Ross and Horican reached via a hit batsman and a walk, Kelley drove them in with a two RBI single in the gap.  Junior Andy Lopez put the Cougars ahead with his second homerun of the season, a two run shot, to round out the inning.

The Cougars continued to stretch their lead, plating two runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to increase their advantage to 12-6.  The Crusaders found life in the bottom of the eighth, pulling within one with five runs.  The big blast of the inning was a three run homerun off the bat of Chris Gehris.  Sophomore Vinny Zanfordino came into the game to retire the final hitter of the eighth and protected the slim one run lead. 

Both teams went down in order in the ninth, as Zanfordino earned his third save of the season and Kean walked away with their first east coast road game win.

Offensively Kelley was 3-for-5 with two runs score and five RBI while Horican and Ross each recorded two hits on the day.  Sophomore Sal Taormina collected two hits on the afternoon, both doubles.  Senior Nick Zucchero earned the win in relief.  Zucchero (3-0) tossed three innings allowing four hits and three walks.  He struck out four.

Kean returns home to face SUNY Oneonta on Saturday in a rescheduled matchup, first pitch is 11:30 a.m.