WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) tied the game with a home run in the ninth and again with an RBI single in the 10th, but the Monmouth University baseball team fell to Sacred Heart, 3-2, Friday afternoon at MU Baseball Field. Starting pitchers Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) and Troy Scribner went 10 innings each in an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 24-18 (14-7 NEC), while the Pioneers improve to 20-17 (15-6 NEC).
McGee allowed two earned runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out six over 10 innings. Scribner scattered nine hits and two walks, striking out seven, while also allowing two earned runs in 10 innings. Dan Wertz took the win for the Pioneers, hurling two scoreless, hitless innings, striking out two. Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) took the loss, allowing one earned run on one hit and one walk, striking out two.
Perret went 2-for-5 with two RBI’s and a run scored. Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) had a team-best three hits, while Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) also added a pair of base hits. Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) added a key leadoff base hit in the 10th inning before coming around to score the tying run.
Keaton Flint and Dave Boisture had two hits and an RBI each for Sacred Heart, with Flint also scoring a run. Brian Lamboy also added an RBI double in the 10th.
The Pioneers scored first in the top of the fifth. After Jesus Medina led off with a double to left center and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, Jonathan Servilla was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. A successful hit-and-run executed by Flint scored Medina and put runners back on the corners with one out. But Lamboy then popped up a squeeze bunt and McGee doubled Servilla off third on the play to extinguish the threat.
McGee and Scribner continued to put zeroes on the board until the bottom of the ninth, when Perret launched a majestic leadoff solo shot down the right field line, with the only doubt upon connection being whether it’d stay fair. It did and the game was tied, 1-1, after nine innings.
In the top of the 10th, Flink walked with one out and scored on Lamboy’s double to left center to give Sacred Heart a 2-1 lead. McGee battled through the remainder of inning with his pitch count climbing to 139 and kept the score at 2-1. Perry led off the bottom of the 10th with a single to center, before moving to second on a Wilgus sacrifice bunt. After Scribner recorded the second out, Perret lined a single through the right side to score Perry and send the game to the 11th.
The 11th inning signaled the end of the road for both starting pitchers. Paglione and Wertz each got through the 11th unscathed, before Paglione got the first two outs of the 12th. But John Murphy drew a walk, narrowly avoided the tag at second on a stolen base, and scored on a Boisture triple to score the game-winning run. Wertz retired the Hawks in order in the bottom of the 12th to end the game.
The Hawks continue their Northeast Conference series with Sacred Heart with a doubleheader of seven-inning games on Saturday afternoon at the MU Baseball Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.