READING, Pa. -- Sophomore Ryan Kelley tallied five runs batted in Thursday as No. 4 Kean outslugged Alvernia University 12-11.
Alvernia scored five runs in the first and eighth innings, but Kean managed to put together enough smaller rallies to build a 12-6 lead, just enough to withstand Alvernia's offensive outburst late in the game.
Kean took the lead for good with four runs in the fourth. After catcher D.J. Ross and Matt Horican reached via a hit batsman and a walk, Ryan Kelley drove them in with a two RBI single in the gap. Andy Lopez then added a two-run homer, his second of the season.
The Cougars continued to stretch their lead, plating two runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to increase their advantage to 12-6. The Crusaders found life in the bottom of the eighth, pulling within one with a five spot. The big blast of the inning was a three-run home run off the bat of Chris Gehris. Sophomore Vinny Zanfordino came into the game to retire the final hitter of the eighth and protected the slim one-run lead.
Zanfordino earned his third save of the season, retiring Alvernia in order.
Kelley was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBI while Horican and Ross each recorded two hits. Sophomore Sal Taormina collected two hits on the afternoon, both doubles. Senior Nick Zucchero earned the win in relief. Zucchero (3-0) tossed three innings, allowing four hits and three walks. He struck out four.