The 1988 Cougar baseball squad reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time behind the pitching of Rich Stroka. The New Jersey Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and second-team All-American led that 26-18 team with his 9-4 mark on the mound. He struck out 65 batters while walking just 21, and also recorded three saves. Stroka's nine wins during his junior campaign still stand as a Kean season record, and his 16 career victories remained the school mark until 1998.
Stroka notched 157 career strikeouts for his four seasons, during which the Cougars cruised to a 92-68-1 record and claimed the 1986 ECAC Championship. He served as team captain in 1989.
Stroka earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in health and physical education from Kean in 1991.