HAWKS HOLD ON FOR 2-1 WIN OVER UMASS
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Right-handed pitcher Jonathan Shippee (Waterford, N.J./Shenendehowa) earned his first victory since April of 2010 as the Monmouth University baseball team (11-7) held on for a 2-1 victory over University of Massachusetts, Wednesday afternoon at MU Baseball Field.
With Adam Yunginger (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) on the hill, the Minutemen (2-6) rallied with two outs in the ninth. Rob McLam singled and moved to second on a wild pitch and Anthony Serino worked a free pass. Freshman Charlie Battis (Hamilton, N.J./Notre Dame) entered from the Hawks' bullpen and struck out Dylan Begin, but Begin reached on a wild pitch to load the bases. The rookie hurler got Adam Picard to groundout to short, where Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) flipped to Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) at second to secure the Monmouth victory.
Shippee, who has not made a start since 2010, allowed one run on eight hits with four strikeouts to earn the win. Reid Van Woert (Johnson City, N.Y./Maine Endwell) hurled 1.2 scoreless innings with a punch-out, while Joe Loiodice (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) struck out two without yielding a hit in 1.1 innings on the hill. Battis picks up his first career save for the Blue and White.
Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) doubled to lead off the top of the second and moved to third on a Josh Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central) single. Rookie Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) grounded out, which allowed Perret to cross home plate, to give MU an early 1-0.
UMass evened the score in the fifth on Anthony Serino's single through the right side but Monmouth got the run back in the home half of the inning as Stewart reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on Danny Avella's (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) single. Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) followed and delivered a two-out base hit to allow Monmouth to regain the lead, 2-1.
The Minutemen failed to tie the game in the seventh as Nick Sanford singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Cusick connected on a double to centerfield where Boyd fielded the ball, fired into Gronsky, who turned and threw a strike to catcher Perry who applied the tag keeping the Hawks ahead by one.
Avella finished 2-for-2 on the afternoon with a pair of walks, while Boyd chipped in a two hits.
Tim Cassidy is tagged with the loss, allowing two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in his first career start.
Prior to game, Monmouth Hall of Famer Ed Halicki, who threw a no-hitter with the San Francisco Giants in 1975, delivered the pre-game speech to the Hawks.
Monmouth will travel to Staten Island, N.Y. for a four-game Northeast Conference series with Wagner beginning on Friday, March 23.