BASEBALL FALLS AT NO. 2 VANDERBILT, 5-1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) went 2-for-4 with a run scored, but the Monmouth University baseball team fell at nationally-ranked No. 2 Vanderbilt, 5-1, Friday evening at Hawkins Field. With the loss, the Hawks even their record at 1-1, while the Commodores, ranked between Nos. 2-4 in the national polls released this week, improve to 5-1.
Sweeney led the Hawks' offense with a pair of singles, while Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South), Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) and Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) added doubles. Starting pitcher Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on four hits, two walks and two hit batsmen in 5.1 innings pitched. Hawks pitchers limited the Commodores to just six hits, but issued eight free passes.
Jack Lupo led Vanderbilt with a 2-for-4 effort and an RBI, while three other Commodores drove in a run. Starting pitcher Kevin Ziomek, ranked by Baseball America as the No. 28 collegiate prospect for this year's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, went seven innings, limiting the Hawks to one earned run on five hits and two walks, while striking out 11. Carson Fulmer shut the door in the final two innings, striking out three while not allowing a hit or walk.
The Hawks struck first with a run in the second inning. Sweeney singled to start the inning, before Perret doubled to put runners on second and third. Owen Stewart's (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) groundout plated Sweeney, before Ziomek struck out the final two hitters of the inning to limit the damage to one.
The Commodores countered with one run each in the third and fourth innings. A Swanson double followed by a groundout gave Vandy a runner on third with one out. Swanson scored on a fielder's choice and throwing error to tie the score at 1-1. In the fourth, Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of MLB Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, was hit by a McGee offering before moving to second on a stolen base and to third on a flyout. Vince Conde's single to right gave the Commodores the 2-1 lead.
Vanderbilt scored twice more in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners on second and third without benefit of a hit. Conrad Gregor led off the half inning with a walk, before moving to second when McGee hit Navin with an 0-1 offering. Yastrzemski pushed the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt before T.J. Hunt (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) was summoned from the bullpen. Gregor scored on a wild pitch, before Spencer Navin came plateward on Lupo's single through the left side to give the Commodores a 4-1 lead after six innings.
Two walks and a hit-by-pitch
loaded the bases with one out for Vandy in the bottom of the seventh. Stephen
Frey (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) relieved Hunt and limited the
Commodores to only a Yastrzemski sacrifice fly.
The Hawks continue their three-game series against Vanderbilt tomorrow. First pitch from Hawkins Field is scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET)/2 p.m. (CT).