Union, N.J. (3/17/17) – Rookie Justin Hernandez spun eight innings of shutout ball and Richie Ferguson shut the door in the ninth as the Kean University baseball team handed Alvernia University their first loss of the season by the final of 1-0.
Hernandez (3-0) allowed just four hits (all singles) and struck out five, issuing no walks. Ferguson threw five pitches and recorded three outs, a double play up the middle and a groundout, to earn his first save of the year.
#23 Kean (9-5) scored the game's only run in the third as Derek Walker led off the inning with a double. Mikal Trice reached on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt that put runners on the corners and Ivan Rivera delivered with a hit off the wall in left for what would be the game-winning RBI.
#17/23 Alvernia threatened in the top of the fourth as Franco Esposito led off the frame by being hit on a full count. Cameron Coons singled to left and after two strikeouts Alex Salesky loaded the bases with a single of his own. Hernandez worked out of the jam by inducing a popup to end the threat.
That would be the last time a runner was in scoring position for the Crusaders as Hernandez retired the next 12 batters before allowing the leadoff single in the ninth.
Offensively Coons was the only batter to record a multiple hit day as he was 2-for-4, collecting two of Alvernia's four overall hits.
Kean returns to action on Sunday when they host St. John Fisher College following the Cardinals game against Misericordia which starts at 11 a.m. at Jim Hynes Stadium.