BICKFORD AND SMITH LEAD HAWKS PAST TROY, 7-5
TROY, Ala. - Sophomore Tim Bickford (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) drove in a career-high four runs and junior Dan Smith (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) threw 8.0 innings on the hill to pace the Monmouth University baseball team to a 7-5 victory over Troy University, Saturday night at Riddle-Pace Field. With the victory, the Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 5-6 on the season, while the Trojans fall to 8-6 on the year.
MU fell behind in the second inning as the Trojans put up three runs on four hits but the Blue and White responded and took its first lead of the contest in the fourth inning. Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) walked and moved to second on Danny Avella's (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) single. Senior Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC]) laid down a bunt single to load the bases, setting up a two-run double by Bickford. Martin and Bickford later came around to score on wild pitches, respectively, to put MU ahead, 4-3.
The Trojans, who participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, evened the score in the ensuing half innings on Jake Harrell's double to right field and regained the lead in the sixth on a RBI double by Clay Holcomb.
The Hawks rallied in the seventh as Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township), the two-time Northeast Conference Player of the Week, continued his hot hitting with a double down the left line, scoring Josh Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central), who singled in the previous at-bat. After consecutive walks to Avella and Martin to load the bases, Bickford connected on a 2-2 offering, plating Rosenkranz and Avella to give MU a 7-5 lead.
Junior righty Neil Harm (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) came in and worked a scoreless ninth to capture his first save since 2010. Smith struck out three batters en route to his second victory of the season. Troy's starter, Jimmy Hodgskin, allowed four runs on three hits, while yielding four walks and two wild pitches.
Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) will take to the mound tomorrow at 2 p.m. for the rubber match between the Hawks and the Trojans.