Union, N.J. (4/17/14) – The #8 Kean University baseball rallied down 3-0 with a four run eighth inning to edge William Paterson University by the final of 4-3 Thursday afternoon in NJAC action.
Junior Mike Daley improved to 6-0 with the complete game effort as he allowed just six hits on the afternoon with three walks and two strikeouts.
In the pivotal eighth, sophomore Brock Podgurski got things going with a one out single up the middle. Senior Shane Alvarez kept things going with a single of his own and sophomore Matt Meleo loaded the bases with a bloop to center. Sophomore Ryan Kelley broke up the shutout with a sacrifice fly to center, while both runners moved closer to home on a high overthrow to the plate. The Pioneers went to the bullpen and junior Andy Lopez worked Tom Gaccione to a six pitch walk to reload the bases. That set up pinch-hitter Tyler Smarslok, whose 108 game starting streak came to an end today after falling ill. Smarslok powered through and brought another Cougar home as he was hit-by-a-pitch in the helmet. Sal Taormina gave Kean the win as he chopped a ball up the middle towards second base for a base hit and an errant throw moved the runners up one more to give the Cougars a 4-3 lead.
Daley was then able to work around a Cougar (22-8, 7-4 NJAC) miscue to seal the win in the ninth.
Freshman Mike Abate started the top of the second with a walk, and after a Mike Sasso single and a Mike Rowe sacrifice, senior Scott Ptaszynski used a 1-2 squeeze bunt to score Abate for the game's first run.
Abate led off the fourth with a strikeout, but was able to reach first via a wild pitch. A Rowe single and Ptaszynski walk then loaded the bases. A wild pitch sent Abate scampering home, and another squeeze, this time off the bat of Rob Pasternak, made it a 3-0 margin.
Taormina and Meleo each produced 2-for-3 days while Trevor Haughney added two hits of his own for the Pioneers (9-15-1, 3-7-1) as he was 2-for-5.
The two teams will square off again on Friday in Wayne, N.J. with a special 1 p.m. first pitch, as both institutions are closed for the holiday weekend.