William Paterson Baseball's Upset Bid Spoiled, 4-3

UNION, N.J. – A four-run, eighth-inning rally spoiled William Paterson's (9-15-1, 3-7-1 NJAC) upset hopes at No. 8/8 Kean (22-8, 7-4 NJAC), as the Pioneers suffered a 4-3 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) baseball loss April 17.

Freshman center fielder Mike Abate (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) started the top of the second inning with a walk, and after a Mike Sasso (West Orange, N.J./Montclair Kimberley) single and a Mike Rowe (Cedar Grove, N.J./Cedar Grove) sacrifice, senior second baseman Scott Ptaszynski (Wharton, N.J./Morris Hills) was able to get the bunt down to the pitcher, a squeeze play that allowed Abate to cross the plate for the game's first run.

Abate again led off an inning, this time striking out but reaching first on a wild pitch to open the fourth. He stole second before Rowe singled and Ptaszynski walked to load the bases. A wild pitch was enough for Abate to scamper home, and another squeeze, this time off the bat of senior third baseman Rob Pasternak (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield), made it a 3-0 margin.

That lead held until the Cougars produced four runs during the home half of the eighth. Sophomore second baseman Brock Podgurski hit a one-out single up the middle, followed by base hits from senior center fielder Shane Alvarez and sophomore designated hitter Matt Meleo to load the bases for classmate Ryan Kelley, who hit a sacrifice fly to center field. A walk again loaded the bases, and pinch hitter Tyler Smarslok forced in a second run when he was hit by a pitch. A Sal Taormina single up the middle and throwing error allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to cross home plate, giving Kean the late one-run lead.

Senior designated hitter Trevor Haughney (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) finished 2-for-5 with a double for WP. Senior starter Anthony DeEsposito (Ridgefield, N.J./Ridgefield Memorial) allowed three runs and seven hits during 7.2 innings on the mound, striking out five and walking two. Junior Tom Gaccione (Little Falls, N.J./Passaic Valley Regional) took the loss (1-2) as he issued a walk and a hit by pitch to the two batters he faced. Sophomore Frankie Colasante (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) was responsible for the final 0.1 of an inning, giving up a hit.

Taormina was 2-for-3 and drove in a run for Kean, while Meleo went 2-for-3 and scored a run. Junior Mike Daley pitched the complete game (6-0), surrendering three runs on six hits while striking out two and walking three.