PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) had three hits, but the Monmouth University baseball team was edged at Rutgers, 7-6, Wednesday afternoon at Bainton Field. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 21-14, while the Scarlet Knights improved to 18-16.
Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose), Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) and Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) added two hits each for the Hawks. Sweeney led Monmouth with two RBI’s, while Connor White (Wall, N.J./Wall) scored twice. Adam Yunginger (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) took the loss on the mound, allowing two earned runs in one-plus innings of relief. Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) kept the Hawks in the game with three innings of scoreless relief, striking out three without walking a batter.
Brian O’Grady and Steve Zavala had three hits each for Rutgers, while Matt Tietz, Nick Favatella, Charlie Law and Ross Costello had two hits each. Favatella scored twice for the Scarlet Knights. Charlie Lasky picked up the win on the mound, limiting the Hawks to one earned run on two hits and two walks. Howie Brey took the save with 3.1 scoreless innings, holding Monmouth to two hits, while striking out one.
Rutgers got on the board first in the bottom of the first, when O’Grady singled up the middle with two outs and Monmouth starter Anthony Ciavarella (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) walked three straight Scarlet Knights to force him home. The Scarlet Knights scored twice more in the second, again doing all the damage with two outs. Favatella doubled home Tietz and O’Grady’s single scored Favatella to put Rutgers on top, 3-0.
The Hawks answered back with a run in the third and four more in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead. Stewart’s single up the middle scored Gronsky in the third to cut the deficit to 3-1. A walk, a single and a wild pitch set the table for Dan Shea (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum), who doubled home Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic). White’s single tied the game and put runners on the corners, before Gronsky singled home Shea to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead. Sweeney’s sacrifice fly made it a 5-3 Hawks lead.
A throwing error on a failed pickoff scored the fourth Rutgers run before a Vinny Zarrillo foul sacrifice fly tied the game at 5-5 after four innings. Consecutive doubles to lead off the fifth by Zavala and Law gave Rutgers a 6-5 lead, before Costello’s single scored Law to push the Scarlet Knights’ advantage to 7-5.
White walked to lead off the top of the sixth, moved to second on Jon Guida’s (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) groundout for the second out and scored on Sweeney’s two-out single through the left side to cut the deficit to 7-6. But the Hawks would draw no closer and the Scarlet Knights took the 7-6 victory.
The Hawks return to action Friday, when they face intrastate NEC foe Fairleigh Dickinson. First pitch from Teaneck, N.J., is scheduled for 3 p.m.