Union, N.J. (4/15/17) – The Kean University baseball team swept visiting William Paterson University by the finals of 8-1 and 9-7 on Saturday afternoon in NJAC play.
Kean improves to 20-11 (6-4 NJAC) while the Pioneers fall to 12-13-2 and 5-5 in conference play.
For the Cougars, Frank LoGuidice was 6-for-10 on the afternoon to lead the way.
The Cougars cruised in the opener, scoring in all but three innings to back the complete game effort by rookie Justin Hernandez. Hernandez allowed one run and scattered seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts to improve to 5-1 on the season.
Kean used a leadoff triple from Nick Polizzano in the second to lead to the first run of the day after a groundout. The Cougars then added some breathing room with three runs and four hits in the third frame. Mike Fidanza and LoGuidice started off the inning with back-to-back singles. A sac bunt from Derek Walker put both runners in scoring position and Brian Cole lofted a sac fly for the 2-0 lead. Matt Krupa and Polizzano both later collected RBI singles for a 4-0 advantage.
The Cougars later put the game out of reach in the eighth with two runs thanks to an outfield miscue.
For the Pioneers Matt Ferrera was 3-for-3 in the leadoff spot with their only run scored.
For the Cougars, Austin Arndt and Polizzano both registered two hits while LoGuidice was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
The score was much closer than it seemed for most of the contest as Kean took a 9-2 lead into the eighth. But the Pioneers took advantage of walks and loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a single. Another walk brought in the inning's first run and an RBI single from Ferrera, sac fly from Anthony DiBartolo, RBI groundout from Anthony Hogland and an RBI triple from Eriq Colon suddenly had the game at 9-7. Tyler Hopman entered the game in relief and was able to snag a line drive for the final out of the inning.
He would then go on to strike out two and work around a two out walk for his second save of the season.
Senior Mike Occhi (4-0) got the win in relief as he tossed three and a third with five strikeouts.
Offensively Brock Podgurski was 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI while Jim Fitzgerald was 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored. Fidanza added two hits of his own and two RBI in the nightcap.
Kean enjoys a short break and will travel to Rutgers-Newark on Thursday for their next matchup.