Union, NJ | The College of Staten Island baseball team saw their improbable comeback fall short today at Kean University, surrendering an extra-inning lead at the hands of the Cougars in 10 innings, 9-8.  The Dolphins leveled to 5-5 with the loss, while KU improved to 8-11 overall.

The home Cougars seemed to be in full control of this one in the early stages, scoring four runs in the first inning and then another pair in the second to stake themselves to a 6-0 lead after two frames.  But a resilient Dolphins squad chipped away, tying late before taking an 8-7 lead in the 10th.  The brief lead was spoiled, however, as the Cougars notched two in the 10th to seal the win, thwarting CSI’s effort.

A Nick Polizzano single stroked in the game’s first run, and Matt Krupa poked in another against CSI starter Derek Jentz.  With those two runners on base, a Jimi Fitzgerald single opened the game up at 4-0.  One inning later, John Carello homered inside the park with Ryan Ruziecki at third base, giving Kean the huge 6-0 lead after two.

The Dolphins, however, found their bats in the third, and after a Jett Nouvertne walk and a Glenn Glennerster double, Nick Meola doubled in the pair to cut the lead to 6-2, and he would come around along with Frank Muzzio who walked, when Sean Becker banged in another double to left field, slashing the lead to 6-4.

After CSI reliever Chris Capellan pitched a scoreless third and fourth, CSI got closer in the fifth with a Muzzio double that cashed in Meola, who was plunked by KU reliever Chris Perdoni.  The Cougars got the run back in the sixth, however, off of Thomas Musso when Fitzgerald scored on a Chris Vetter single.

CSI continued to stay the course, and again cut the lead in the seventh.  Muzzio was hit by a pitch and advanced to second base after Becker was walked and then to third on a John Pomarico groundout.  Anthony Lozada then skied a ball into center field that was deep enough to bring Muzzio home via the sac fly, making it 7-6.  

Chris Karnbach then came in to pitch for CSI, and after retiring the Cougars in order in the seventh, the Dolphins finally got even in the eighth.  Jordan Wilson started it off with a one-out single, and after a pitching change, Wilson stole second and raced home on a Glennerster single.  Meola then scored an infield single and CSI proceeded to load the bases on a Muzzio walk, but KU reliever Jean Sapani got Becker to ground into a fielder’s choice that prevented a run at home plate, and then pinch hitter Anthony DiMarco struck out looking to end the threat.

In the bottom of the frame, Kean seemed destined to take the lead, as Karnbach surrendered a pair of hits, but with the bases loaded, Karbach got Carello to line out hard to second base to keep the game tied.

After a scoreless ninth, the teams stayed poised for extra frames, and CSI gained momentum by taking their first lead of the game.  With two outs, Meola stroked a ground-rule double and Muzzio completed his great afternoon with an RBI single through the right side of the infield, scoring Meola.  Muzzio was stranded at second base after stealing to end the frame.

That left Kean with three outs to try and win or tie and this time, the home team came through.  Pinch-hitter Tim Huxin started with a seeing-eye single, and he moved over to second base via a Mike Perone sacrifice.  After Devin Rodriguez came in to pinch-run, Steve Santigate came in to hit and the pinch-hitter nearly ended the game with towering shot that fell off of the wall instead.  Rodriguez, who got a late break on the ball did score to tie the game, but a play at the plate was able to move Santigate over to third base with just one out.

Karnbach would get Frank LoGiudice to ground out on the next at-bat, but with two outs, Carello would complete his tremendous afternoon with a single through the right side that easily scored Santigate in walk-off fashion, giving Kean the 9-8 win, their 11th-straight over the Dolphins dating back to the 2008 season.

Sapini took the win for Kean tossing 2.2 innings of relief, allowing a single earned run on five hits.  Karnbach pitched well in relief but took the loss, going 3.2 innings, surrendering two runs on six hits.  Meola went 3-5 at the dish with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored.  Muzzio and Glennerster each added two hits and three RBI and three runs scored between them.  Carello went 3-5 with three RBI to lead the Cougars.

Kean leads the all-time series with the Dolphins, 33-8.  Today’s game was a make-up of a previously snowed-out contest that was originally scheduled to be played at CSI on March 21.

The Dolphins will be back in action on Wednesday, March 28, when they travel to face New Jersey City University for a single, non-conference, affair, at 3:30pm.