UNION, N.J. — Ramapo scored four runs in the second inning taking a lead they would not relinquish as they defeated No. 4 Kean 9-6 Friday afternoon in NJAC action.
The loss drops the Cougars to 29-6 overall and 12-3 in the NJAC, as Kean now trails Rowan by one game in the win column in the NJAC standings. The win improves Ramapo to 26-7 overall and an 8-5 conference mark. Ramapo stands in fifth place with five more NJAC games to go in the next three days.
The Cougars and Roadrunners are slated to makeup their game from Thursday on Monday afternoon.
The Roadrunners took an early 1-0 lead in the first as infielder Rob Dimperio scored on a two-out error by the Cougars. Kean took their only lead of the game in the bottom of the first, plating three runs. With one out, senior Chris Carrano worked a walk. Junior Lee Cavico, who was recently named the NJCBA Player of the Week, then launched his fifth homerun of the year, a two run shot to left. Later in the inning, senior Nick Nolan lofted a sacrifice fly to give Kean a 3-1 lead.
Ramapo would scratch across a run in their next at-bat as leadoff hitter Kevin Knox worked a bases loaded walk. The Cougars then pulled off a great double play as Dimperio hit a hard shot down the line towards the third base bag, Stephen Nappe then snagged the ball, touched the base for the force and fired a shot to home where Eddie Jennings applied the tag. One batter later though, infielder Christian Spurr lined a shot down the leftfield line that was called fair for the three-run homerun, putting Ramapo ahead 5-3.
Kean chipped away with a single run in the fourth to pull within one as Nolan crossed the plate after a bunt single from rookie Tyler Smarslok, but the Cougars were not able to come any closer as the Roadrunners tacked on two more runs in the sixth and eighth taking a 9-4 lead.
The Cougars rallied in the bottom of the ninth in a replay of the first inning. Carrano worked a one-out walk before Cavico launched his second homerun of the afternoon to put the score at 9-6. Senior Ken Gregory followed with a double, but Travis Zilg entered for Ramapo and forced two groundouts to end the game for his first save of the season.
Kean had their best scoring chance in the eighth as they loaded the bases with no outs, but relief pitcher John McNeil was able to work out of trouble and recorded the final three outs in order to end the threat.
Southpaw Mark Delannoy earned the win for Ramapo. Delannoy (3-0) tossed seven innings allowing four runs, all earned, and six hits. He walked four and struck out three. Senior Joe Bartlinski suffered the loss for the Cougars. Bartlinski (3-3) allowed five runs, four earned, with seven hits in three and a third innings.
Offensively Cavico was 2-for-5 with two homeruns, two runs scored and four RBI while teammates Carrano (pictured right) and Gregory had two hits apiece. For the Roadrunners, Spurr was 3-for-5 with a double, homerun and six RBI while Dimperio was 4-for-5 with three runs scored.
Kean is back in action on Saturday when they travel to William Paterson University for an NJAC doubleheader starting at 11:30 a.m.