Union, N.J. (5/6/12) – Junior Kevin Herget pitched a gritty eight inning performance to help the #11/14 Kean University baseball team to their third straight New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon as the Cougars topped Ramapo College, 3-0.
With the win, Kean (31-10) advances to the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament, slated to begin on Wednesday, May 16th. It will be the seventh straight season the Cougars have advanced to the regional tournament.
The Cougars topped Ramapo (31-13) for the second time in two days. Kean won by the final of 7-1 on Saturday morning.
Herget improves to 6-4 after allowing three hits, all singles, with six strikeouts and six walks. Senior Matt Jenisch suffered the loss for the Roadrunners. He tossed a complete game allowing just five hits behind six sparkling plays behind him on defense.
Kean jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second as the Cougars put runners on first and second with two outs thanks to a hit-batsman and a hard single deflected off the foot of the pitcher. Sophomore Tyler Smarslok then lined a double down the leftfield line to give Kean a quick 2-0 lead.
Ramapo loaded the bases for the first time in the day in their half of the third on two walks scattered around a single. Herget got out of the jam forcing a strikeout to end the threat.
The Cougars tacked on one more in the fifth as Smarslok started off the frame with a single. Rookie Andy Lopez then moved him over to third with a single through the right side. Senior Steve Sanguiliano added a run with a sacrifice fly for a 3-0 advantage.
The Roadrunners then put pressure on again in the bottom of the fifth as they loaded the bases with no outs. Herget got out of the jam with two swinging strikeouts and a pop up to preserve the lead.
Sanguiliano earned his seventh save of the season as he worked a scoreless ninth. Senior Joseph Somma led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk. Sanguiliano then got senior Dan Mauriello to strikeout and pinch-hitter Chris Werr ended the game with a groundball, double-play.
Smarslok finished the day with a 2-for-3 performance and two RBI while Lopez added two hits and a double.
The Cougars still have two regular season games on the schedule as they travel to take on Keystone College on Wednesday and Farmingdale State College on Friday.