Newark, N.J. (5/17/14) – Joe O'Connor crossed the plate on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th to give the Kean University baseball team a 6-5 win over Farmingdale State College in the NCAA N.Y. Regional Tournament.
With the win, Kean (34-13) stays alive in the elimination bracket and will now face Amherst on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The loss eliminates Farmingdale (27-13).
In the pivotal 10th, O'Connor led off the inning with a infield single that took a crazy hop near first base. O'Connor moved into scoring position with a wild pitch and he moved even closer with a single from Andy Lopez to right, with no outs. The Rams went to the bullpen and after Lopez swiped second, Alex Pangourelias got a groundout on a drawn-in infield with five fielders and a strikeout to record two outs. Farmingdale elected to walk Shane Alvarez to get a force at any base, but a wild pitch to the backstop was enough for Kean as O'Connor raced home for the win.
The Rams jumped on top with back-to-back two out doubles from Michael Marino and Daniel Paccione to take a quick 1-0 lead in the first.
Kean tied things right up in the bottom of the same frame as Matt Meleo and Sal Taormina provided singles with a walk from O'Connor to load the bases. Lopez lofted a sacrifice fly to knot the game at one-all.
The Cougars took a 2-1 lead in the second as Tyler Smarslok roped an RBI double, scoring Alvarez who reached via a hit batsman.
The Rams countered with an RBI double of their own in the top of the third to tie the game back up at two-all and took the lead in their half of the fifth with a two out RBI single. The Cougars continued the back and forth affair and knotted the game up at three-all in the sixth as Taormina lined a two out double into the gap, scoring Meleo who reached on a single.
Farmingdale took the lead in the top of the seventh as the Rams rallied with two outs. With a runner on first, Tom Rydzewski lined a double down the rightfield line and an errant throw back into the infield allowed Ken Johntry to score from third. Another throwing miscue on the next play resulted in another Ram run, giving them a 5-3 advantage.
Kean tied the ballgame in the bottom of the eighth with a bases loaded walk from Lopez (pictured left) and a sac fly from Ryan Reitmeyer.
Chris Amato picked up the win in relief as he tossed three innings allowed just one hit with four strikeouts. He improves to 3-2.