Baseball Claims Third Straight Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship; World Series Next
By Ryan Gaydos
The Kean University baseball team was on a mission. After getting ousted in the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship, the Cougars were more determined to bounce back as the No. 1 seed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional and win it all to advance to the College Baseball World Series.
It took the Cougars an extra day but they got it done Sunday defeating Keystone 6-1 in a mostly tight game behind Charles Thielmann’s five strikeouts and Nick Ramagli’s two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The game was tight for most of the day. The Cougars had four hits through four but did not score a run and did not allow a Keystone run either. Thielmann was on his game allowing one hit through four innings before the Cougars gave him help.
Ramagli got the game’s first run home on a bunt single that scored Tyler Smarslok who led off the inning getting hit by a Zach Duffy pitch. Later, Ryan Kelley singled to score Ramagli and put the Cougars up two runs. In the next inning, Joe O’Connor walked to score Shane Alvarez and then a Sal Taormina sacrifice fly to center field scored Smarslok again.
Ramagli’s two-run home run sealed the deal in the eighth as Thielmann fended off a late Keystone rally in the ninth inning to seal the deal for his 10th win of the season.
With the win, the Cougars claim its third straight Mid-Atlantic Regional championship and a third straight trip to the College Baseball World Series. The Cougars last won the series in 2007 and have a good enough team to make some magic again in the World Series this year.