ATLANTA, Ga. - Reigning Northeast Conference Player of the Week, Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), connected on a two-run home run in the first inning and the Monmouth University baseball team never looked back en route to its 8-3 victory over Georgia State, Tuesday afternoon at the GSU Baseball Complex. Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) registered a 4-for-5 performance with three RBIs and Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) worked 7.0 innings in his third start of the year, allowing one run with one strikeout to pick up his second win of the season.
The Hawks, who have played 13-straight games away from West Long Branch, improve to 7-6 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 7-10 on the year.
Gronsky, who singled with two outs in the first, scored on Avella's home run, which gave MU a 2-0 lead. The round-tripper is the junior infielder's third of the season after connecting on a pair of home runs in Sunday's victory over Troy.
Jamie Rosenkranz ((Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) singled, stole second and came around to score on Gronsky's double to extend the Blue and White's lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning.
After a lightning delay that lasted nearly an hour, Georgia State got on the board in the sixth on Brandon Williams' groundout and cut the lead to one in the eighth on Mark Hogan's pinch-hit home run.
The Hawks responded in the final inning scoring five runs, while taking advantage of two Panthers' errors. Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) plated Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) on a safety squeeze and Gronsky drove in a pair of runs two batters later to increase MU's lead to four. Avella followed with a two-run single of his own to put the Hawks ahead comfortably, 8-2.
Georgia State added a run in the home half of the ninth, but it was not enough as the Hawks captured its third-straight victory.
Joe Loiodice (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) threw a perfect inning out of the bullpen, while Neil Harm (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) worked the ninth, allowing a run on three hits, while striking out a trio of Panthers.
Max Schmitz was tagged with the loss for GSU after working 7.2 innings, yielding three runs on seven hits.
The Hawks will now open up Northeast Conference play at home this weekend with a four-game series with in-state foe, Fairleigh Dickinson. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. on Friday at MU Baseball Field.