Baseball Getting Set For NJAC Tournament Game Vs. TCNJ
By Ryan Gaydos
Kean University baseball has clinched another New Jersey Athletic Conference regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. The Cougars will take on The College of New Jersey Tuesday at home.
Kean is one of the top-ranked schools in Division III and is coming into the game as winners of eight of their last 10 games, but having dropped the last two of three. Nonetheless, the Cougars are going to be on top of its game heading into the conference tournament.
Outfielder Joe O’Connor leads the 30-win Cougars with a .358 batting average, two home runs and 38 RBI this season. Kean’s cleanup man has also been leading the team in triples with six.
Shortstop Nick Ramagli has also had a bright season for Kean recording 10 doubles and driving in 26 RBI.
The pitching staff has been great as well. Charles Thielmann is 7-1 in 12 appearances this season. He has a 2.27 ERA and 53 strikeouts. Fellow rotation mate Kevin Herget is also putting together a nice season with 74 strikeouts with a 6-2 record and a 1.48 ERA.
Whoever head coach Neil Ioviero chooses to start Tuesday will probably pitch well-enough to get the win.
The Cougars swept TCNJ April 6 in a double-header. The Lions are 17-20 this season but managed to get into the playoffs with an 8-10 record in the NJAC.
The Lions have lost four-in-a-row coming into the game against Kean. Michael Murphy has three home runs and 29 RBI for the Lions and leads the team with a .379 batting average.
In seven appearances, Steve Volpe leads TCNJ with a 1.47 ERA and is 3-1 this season. The Cougars have success against TCNJ in the past and have a good chance of coming out on top.
The tournament is double elimination, so win or lose Kean will have its second playoff game at home Wednesday at 3:30 P.M.