UNION, N.J. – Kevin Herget prevailed in a pitchers’ duel as No. 8 Kean University outlasted No. 12 Keystone College 1-0 on Sunday afternoon in a key regional matchup.
The win is the 10th in a row for the Cougars against Keystone, dating to 2008. Kean improved to 10-4 while Keystone fell to 11-5 this season.
Herget (2-1) tossed a complete-game shutout. He scattered six hits and two walks while fanning seven. Rob Rogers suffered the tough loss after a complete-game effort with one unearned run. Rogers (2-1) struck out eight and walked two, allowing seven hits.
Kean scored the only run in its half of the third. James Lyczkowski got things started with a one-out single up the middle. Matt Meleo followed with a perfectly placed infield single, putting runners at first and second. Tyler Smarslok then grounded out to move both runners in scoring position. Andy Lopez then chopped a ball that at first seemed destined to go up the middle. Rogers, however, snared the ball behind his back and started what he hoped to be an inning-ending play. The flip to first could not be handled, allowing Lyczkowski to score from third.
Herget worked out of trouble on a couple of occasions. In the top of the third, Herget got out of a one-out jam with runners at second and third by forcing an infield popup and a strikeout to end the inning. In the sixth, he stranded a runner at third with a groundout. The final threat came in the eighth with runners on first and third and one out. An alert Lyczkowski caught Jose Garcia drifting off third on a squeeze attempt and tagged him out in the rundown for the second out. Herget then got another groundout to end the inning.
Nick Ramagli was the only player from either team with a multi-hit day as he was 3-for-4 with a stolen base.