UNION, NJ – For the second time this season, the York College baseball team went to New Jersey to face a nationally ranked team on the road. For the second time this year, the Spartans lost a 4-3 game, this time falling to the fourth-ranked Kean University Cougars in a non-conference contest on Thursday in Union, NJ. Nine days ago, the Green and White fell to #15 Rowan 4-3 in Glassboro.
The Spartans fall to 8-13 overall while the Cougars now stand at 14-5 for the season.
The Cougars reached Spartan starter Tyler Alexander for a single run in the first on a fielder's choice RBI. Alexander got out of any further damage in the frame as he rolled a double play ground ball to hold the Cougars to just one run.
York broke in front of the Cougars in the second as Drew Frankenfield led off the inning with a single to left center. After a ground out moved him to second, Justin Cohen blasted his fifth home run of the year, a two-run shot to left center, giving York the 2-1 lead.
The Spartans had a chance to add to the lead in the third but a double play followed by a strikeout got the Cougars out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the inning.
The Cougars turned the momentum in the bottom of the third. Kean got a lead off single but Alexander retired the next two batters. Unfortunately, the Cougars would get another single, a run-scoring balk, a two-run homer, and another single before the Spartan sophomore could get the third out of the inning. The three-run uprising gave the hosts a 4-2 lead.
York got a single run back in the fourth but it could have been much more. The Spartans' single run came on a Colin Porter RBI single. Cougar pitcher Mike Russo got out of another jam as the Green and White left the bases loaded for the second time in three innings.
The Spartans' best chance to tie the game came in the seventh when Frankenfield was hit by a pitch and freshman designated hitter Derek Pitzer singled to put Spartans at first and second with one out. After a strikeout, the Cougars made a pitching change and reliever Matt Mantione got out of the inning as Colbe Herr hit a sharp line drive to right as Kean maintained a one-run advantage.
The Cougars got two runners on in the eight but reliever Andrew Tucci got out of the inning without the hosts denting the plate.
The Spartans went quietly in the ninth as they dropped their seventh one-run loss of the year.
Alexander suffered the tough luck loss as he threw 7.1 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits as he falls to 0-2. He walked two and threw 107 pitches in the contest. Tucci got the final two outs of the inning in the eight as he allowed one walk during his outing.
Russo earned the win as he allowed three runs on nine hits in his five-inning stint. He struck out four and walked two as he improves to 3-1 for the campaign. Steve Sanquiliano pitched the final two-thirds of an inning to earn the save for the Cougars. The Kean bullpen was outstanding as four relievers combined to scatter two hits with two strikeouts and a walk in four innings of work.
Porter paced the Spartan offense as he was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Dustin Worthman and Pitzer each added two knocks for the Green and White.
DJ Brekenridge and Dylan Laguna had two hits for the 10-hit Kean attack. Sanguiliano went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored for the Cougars.
The Spartans left 10 runners on base in the loss.
York returns to Jaquet Field for a three-game weekend series with Frostburg State. The teams will play a double header on Saturday starting at 1:00 pm. The two squads will play a single game on Sunday afternoon with first pitch also set for 1:00 pm.