Montclair State Red Hawks Soar Late to Beat the Lehman Lightning 6-4

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Published April 18, 2018
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The Montclarion

The Montclair State University Red Hawks baseball team improved to 16-8 on the season with a 6-4 win over Lehman College Lightning at home due to a three-run seventh inning on April 9. Montclair State pitcher Michael Matarazzo improved to 2-0 on the season following the team’s win.

The first two innings of the game, neither Montclair State nor Lehman could put runs on the board. Montclair came close in the bottom of the second, but designated hitter Andrew Ollwerther was thrown out at home by a bullet throw from center field by Lehman’s David Rodriguez. This hyped up the Lehman bench, stunned the Montclair State fans and kept the game scoreless.

In the top of the third, Lehman struck first when second basemen Julius Puryear singled up the middle to score a hustling Carlo Francisco to give Lehman the 1-0 lead. That lead did not last long. When it was the Red Hawks’ turn to bat in the bottom of the third, they answered right back with a run of their own. Center fielder Brody Labbe singled down the infield line scoring second basemen Brian Oblachinski to tie the game up at 1-1. Labbe advanced to second on the throw while infielder Justin Epifanio advanced to third.

Top of the fourth, Lehman capitalized off a costly error by Montclair’s shortstop. The error on the throw gifted Lehman their second and third runs of the game scored by Rob Kiernan and Namir Garcia giving the Lightning a 3-1 lead. On the same play, left fielder Euriel Murray advanced to second to put runners on first and second. Montclair State ended the inning strong and left the runners stranded on the bases.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Red Hawks answered again. Right fielder Rob Lombardo singled to first base scoring Ollwerther and advancing first basemen Kyle Missry to second and left fielder Nick Martinez to third to decrease the Lightning’s lead to just a run. On the next at bat, catcher Anthony Guarnino hit into a double play but Martinez was able to score on the slide to tie up the game at 3-3.

Both teams were unable to score runs in the fifth and sixth inning due to solid pitching from Red Hawks’ reliever Tyler Higgins and Lehman’s starting pitcher Emmanuel Velasquez and solid fielding from their teammates.

Things got interesting in the bottom of the seventh when Ollwerther tripled off the center field wall scoring a pacing Martinez to give Montclair the 4-3 lead. Two batters later, Missry doubled down the infield line scoring Martinez and Ollwerther to extend Montclair’s lead to 6-3 and hype up the Yogi Berra Stadium crowd.

In the top of the eighth, Lehman answered back. Francisco grounded out to short but scored a sprinting Rob Kiernan to cut Montclair’s lead to 6-4.

In the top of the ninth, closer Max Maarleveld shut down all three batters to secure Montclair’s 6-4 win over Lehman and pick up his first save of the season.

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