Claremont, Calif. - Senior third baseman James Campbell (Lookout Mountain, Tenn.) hit a two-run homer and junior center fielder Erik Munzer (Claremont, Calif.) added a two-run single as Pomona-Pitzer upset No. 2 Kean University (N.J.) 4-2 on Monday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Junior pitcher Stuart Gano (Lakewood, Wash. - pictured) made his first start of the year and allowed one run on four hits in six innings of work for the Sagehens, who improve to 12-9-1 with the win. Kean, ranked No. 2 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) coming into the week, got a complete game from junior pitcher Kevin Herget, but took the loss to fall to 10-4 on the year. The game was rescheduled to this afternoon after Saturday's game was rained out.
Gano and Herget, who came into the day 3-0 with no runs allowed in his first three starts (24 innings) were locked in a pitcher's duel through five innings of work, as neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in limited opportunities. Kean was the first to break the ice in the top of the sixth as Steve Sanguiliano lined a double into the left-center field gap, and came home on an RBI single from Joe O'Connor.
The lead didn't last long, though, as junior right fielder Nick Gentili (Glendale, Calif.) was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the sixth and moved to second on a ball in the dirt. Campbell then drove a pitch over the center field wall to continue his torrid hitting of late, which included a 4-for-5, two-homer game on Friday against Rutgers-Newark, and a 4-for-4, four-RBI game on Sunday against Puget Sound. The runs were the first two allowed by Herget all season after 29 1/3 shutout innings to start the year.
Reliever Leo Rosetti (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) came on in relief and left two runners stranded in the seventh to preserve the 2-1 lead, and the Sagehens tacked on two more runs in the bottom half. Sophomore catcher Travis Bowers (Palo Alto, Calif.), who was 3-for-4 on the day, led off with the first of his two doubles. Sophomore left fielder Mike Moyer (Oakland, Calif.) then singled to right field and moved to second on the throw home as Bowers was held at third.
Gentili nearly found the 5-6 hole against a drawn-in infield, but Tyler Smarslok slid to his right at shortstop to make the play and hold Bowers at third for the second out. After an intentional walk to Campbell loaded the bases, Munzer found the 5-6 hole with a clutch two-run single to give Pomona-Pitzer some breathing room.
That breathing room would come in handy in the ninth, as the Cougars put pressure on the Sagehens with two on and nobody out. Freshman third baseman E.J. Lopez (Fresno, Calif.) started the inning with a spectacular leaping catch for the first out, but then mishandled an easier play which would have been the third out.
A walk then brought the tying run to the plate, and Shane Alvarez beat out a slow chopper to third to load the bases. Another walk to D.J. Breckenridge forced home a run and put the tying run in scoring position (and the go-ahead run on first), but Rosetti was able to coax a game-ending grounder to Mark Okuma (Palos Verdes, Calif.) at second, who flipped to shortstop Sam Fox (New York, N.Y.) to end the game.
Herget struck out 10 and walked two in eight innings of work for the Cougars, but did allow 10 hits, including three to Bowers, and two apiece to Munzer and Lopez, and four earned runs. Nick Ramagli (2-for-4) was the only Kean player with more than one hit.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action this weekend for a three-game series with Chapman, including a home game on Friday at 3 p.m. and a road doubleheader on Saturday.