WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Freshman lefty Frank Trimarco (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) hurled eight strong innings and Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) delivered the go-ahead two-out, two-run single in the sixth as the Monmouth University baseball team defeated Hofstra, 5-1, Tuesday afternoon at the MU Baseball Field. With the win, the Hawks improve to 17-11, while the Pride falls to 14-19.
Making his first-career start, Trimarco allowed just one earned run, scattering nine hits and a walk over eight innings, while striking out two. Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) hurled a clean ninth inning to close out the victory. Bamford and Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) had two hits and two RBI’s apiece, while Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) also added a pair of base hits. Bamford scored twice, while Gronsky, Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) and Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) also crossed home plate once each.
Jared Rogers took the loss for Hofstra, allowing five earned runs on six hits and a walk in 5.2 innings pitched. He struck out three. Brent Hall and Kevin Brantley had two hits apiece to pace the Pride’s offense. Brantley scored Hofstra’s lone run.
The Pride got on the board first in the top of the third. Brantley led off with a single down the left field line, before T.J. Ehrsam sacrificed him to second. An Austin Nyman infield single put runners on the corners. Nyman then intentionally got caught in a rundown between first and second, allowing Brantley to score.
The Hofstra lead held until the fifth inning. Bamford led off with a single up the middle before moving to second on a wild pitch. Bamford then took third on a passed ball and scored on Sweeney’s single to center to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hawks took the lead for good in the sixth, overcoming a controversial call to score four runs. After Rogers retired the first two Hawks to start the inning, Gronsky got things started with a single over the second baseman’s head. Perret then ripped a shot inside the first-base bag and then went into foul territory down the line until it reached the Hofstra bullpen. Gronsky and Perret raced all the way around the bases to score, but though the ground rules at the MU Baseball Field state that a ball entering the bullpen area is live, the umpires ruled a ground-rule double and put the runners back on second and third. The point became moot when, following an intentional walk to Stewart, Bamford singled through the right side to score both runs and give MU a 3-1 lead.
Following a pitching change, Bamford and Stewart executed a double steal to account for the Hawks’ fourth run. Bamford then took third on a wild pitch and scored on Sweeney’s infield single to account for the final 5-1 score.
Monmouth returns to action Wednesday, when it welcomes Princeton to MU Baseball Field. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.