UNION, N.J. — Junior Joe O’Connor laced an RBI triple in the bottom of the 11th to break a one-all deadlock and to send No. 10 Kean past Neumann on Friday.
With one out in the 11th, senior Nick Ramagli got things started with a single. O’Connor then lined a 0-2 pitch into the gap, plating the winning run.
Sophomore Charles Thielmann (2-0) earned the win in relief as he allowed just one batter to reach in 4.2 innings of work, fanning seven. Thielmann entered the game in the seventh with one out and a runner on first. He recorded two fly ball outs to end the threat.
Neumann (4-1) tied the game in the seventh as senior Will Flores led off the frame with a single up the middle. After swiping second, he advanced to third on a single off the bat of senior Bill Pace. Senior Tyler Drinkard then tied the contest with an RBI single up the middle on a drawn-in infield.
Kean (4-1) scored the first run of the game in their first at-bat as junior Tyler Smarslok led off the bottom of the first with a double. Sophomore Andy Lopez followed with an RBI single, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
The score remained that way as both starters were locked in a tight pitchers’ duel. Senior Sam Fourre allowed five hits in 6.1 innings, and recorded 16 consecutive outs spanning the first and sixth innings. Senior southpaw Matt Spillman put up almost identical numbers as he allowed five hits in 6.2 innings of work. Spillman struck out six.
The top of the Cougar order provided six of the eight hits as Smarslok, Lopez and Ramagli each registered two hits apiece. Flores was the only Knight with a multi-hit day as he finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Freshman Kristian Deluzio suffered the loss for Neumann.