The Montclair State University baseball team had a crazy doubleheader against Stockton University. Before the game, the Red Hawks were sitting at a 19-6 record with a 6-6 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Stockton also had a 6-6 record in the conference, and with playoffs coming, every conference win counts.
Game one of the doubleheader featured a lot of offense. In the first three innings, both teams traded blows. This run included a big two-run double by junior infielder Reece Malek. By the end of the third inning, Stockton led 6-4.
With Stockton up by four now, Montclair State was in a deep hole in the fifth. Stockton would tack on two more from an error by the shortstop and a bases-loaded walk. This deficit didn’t phase the Red Hawks. They scored four in the bottom of the fifth with a game-tying RBI single by senior infielder Joe Gisonda.
In a tied-ball game, Stockton threatened to re-take the lead with men on first and second with two outs, but the freshman pitcher Michael Todaro would come up clutch, striking out Stockton’s Tucker Elder and keeping the game tied.
The hitting came back with vengeance in the bottom frame. Senior infielder Sam Angelo led off with a walk, followed by a senior utility player Miles Feaster single that would advance Angelo to third. Two batters later, with one out, the senior shortstop Jason Moore hit a sacrifice fly, bringing in Angelo and giving Montclair the 9-8 lead. Even with two outs, they weren’t finished. Four more hits, along with three more, followed.
Sophomore pitcher Patrick Teehan shut the door on Stockton for game one. This was Montclair State’s 20th win of the season, giving them a 7-6 record in the NJAC.
Game two started about 30 minutes later. Sophomore pitcher Matt Pontari built off his last couple of starts. He has had a good season with a 3.62 ERA in 37.1 innings.
He started the game by only giving up one hit and zero runs through the first three frames. In the fourth, he gave up his first and only run of the night on a groundout. He finished with the fifth and got taken out in the sixth. He would finish with five and third innings, two strikeouts, one earned run and a season-high 119 pitches.
The offense helped Pontari by cashing in six runs and 11 hits in the first five innings. Stockton made things interesting as they capitalized off a throwing error by senior third baseman Ethan Sarmiento in the seventh inning. Scoring two unearned runs made it 7-4 Montclair State. They would tack on two more with a sacrifice fly and a double, narrowing down the Red Hawks’ lead to only one run in a 7-6 game.
The offense took over for both sides for the rest of that game as senior outfielder Ryan McKenna and Feaster brought in two more runs to give them a little insurance. Stockton stormed again at the top of the eighth to put them within one again. The bottom of the eighth would show the dominance of Montclair State’s offense.
Malek and Angelo both had an RBI single. Two more came from another Feaster hit, and Moore ground out but brought in the final run, making it 14-8. Stockton would then score three in the ninth, but it was too little too late. Montclair State swept the doubleheader.
They are now 8-6 in the NJAC, which ties them for third with William Paterson University, who they beat twice last week. They are behind Rowan University and Kean University and with four games left in the season, every last one counts. The Red Hawks’s next game is away against Kean on Thursday.