Taormina leads Kean to victory against Webster in opening-round matchup
Freshman Salvatore Taormina drove in four while senior Kevin Herget struck out nine as Kean topped Webster 14-8 in the opening matchup at the Division III tournament.
The Cougars (39-11) advance to take on Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 8:45 p.m. Saturday. Webster (36-11) faces Manchester at 2:15 p.m in the loser's bracket.
Kean avenges a 7-6 loss to Webster from May of last season as Webster rallied in the ninth inning in that contest, eliminating Kean from the tournament in 2012.
Herget improves to 10-2 this season. \His 10 wins tie the Cougar single-season record. In today's action, Herget allowed five runs, two earned, with five walks and five hits.
The Cougars jumped on the board with two runs in the first inning as rookie Matt Meleo started off the game with a walk. Junior Tyler Smarslok quickly brought him home with an RBI double. Smarslok would later swipe third and came around to score off an RBI single from sophomore Andy Lopez.
The Gorlocks took advantage of three Cougar miscues in the third inning and took the lead with three runs in the frame. Kean answered with a single run in the fifth as freshman Ryan Kelley led off the inning with a double. He moved to third with a wild pitch and tied the contest at three-all on a sacrifice fly from Taormina (pictured left).
Kean then blew the game open with six runs in the sixth inning. Highlighting the inning included an RBI single from senior Nick Ramagli, an RBI single from junior Joe O'Connor and a two RBI double from Taormina.
Taormina was 3-for-5 with four RBI while Lopez was 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored.