Union, NJ … The College of New Jersey fell to top-seeded Kean University 7-2 in its New Jersey Athletic Conference opening game on Tuesday afternoon in Union, NJ.
The Lions (17-21) will now visit fifth-seeded Ramapo College and look to stave off elimination and reach the Saturday round of games that will be hosted at Kean. The Roadrunners dropped a 6-1 decision to William Paterson University.
The Cougars (31-8) used a three-run fifth inning stretch out a 3-2 lead and advance in the winner’s bracket. Kean will face off against Richard Stockton College on Thursday at home. Senior Kevin Hergett (7-2) struck out 10 in the game to register his seventh mound victory of the season.
Sophomore Anthony Cocuzza (Absecon, NJ/St. Augustine Prep) went 3-for-4 in the game, while seniors Michael Murphy (Staten Island, NY/State Island Tech) and Scott Kelly (West Windsor, NJ/West Windsor-North) each had two hits. Sophomore Josh Limon (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) singled and knocked in all three TCNJ runs.
After falling behind 3-0, the Lions broke through in the third. Kelly, freshman Mark Mari (Bayonne, NJ/Seton Hall Prep), and Cocuzza all singled to load the bases. Limon came through with a clutch, two-run single up the middle to draw within a run.
The Cougars responded with five hits to plate three runs in the fifth. Nick Ramagli, Joe O’Connor, and Salvatore Taromina delivered consecutive run-scoring singles. Kean tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh to push the lead to 8-2.
Limon drove in his third run of the day in the eighth. Cocuzza doubled and advanced to third on a Murphy base hit before Limon lifted a sacrifice fly to score the runner
Senior Robert Schneider (Township of Washington, NJ/Westwood) went five innings for TCNJ, while freshman Steven Volpe (Cherry Hill, NJ/Eastern Regional) pitched the final three innings.