ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Monmouth University baseball team took advantage of two big innings to defeat the University of Pennsylvania on Sunday at Max Bishop Stadium, 7-5. Freshman Grant Lamberton (Newark, Del./Salesianum) drove in three runs, and six Hawks had hits to improve the Hawks to 2-7 on the year. The Quakers fall to 0-6.
MU got contributions from six players offensively, and Chris McKenna (Pine Beach, N.J./Toms River South) won his first game of the year after going five innings and allowing a run on four hits. Anthony Ciavarella (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) worked a scoreless sixth inning. Dan Gautieri went 6.1 innings for Penn, striking out nine but giving up four runs on six hits and three walks. Lamberton drove in three runs, and both Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) and Cary Jacobson (Los Angeles, Calif./Palisades) had two hits, a run scored and an RBI. Robbie Alessandrine (Sewell, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) drove in two runs and scored one of his own. Penn’s Jeff McGarry went one-for-four with two runs batted in.
The Quakers took an early lead against McKenna when Austin Bossart singled and scored on Marshall Harden’s double down the left field line. McKenna then settled in and retired twelve of the next fourteen to face him, including a 1-2-3 fifth inning. The score remained 1-0 Penn until the fifth, when Monmouth’s bats got hot. Jacobson doubled down the left field line in front of Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Northampton C.C./Warren Hills Regional) beating out an infield single. Connor White (Wall, N.J./Wall) drew a walk to fill the bases, and Alessandrine tied the game with a base hit to right. Two batters later, Lamberton delivered the big blow. The freshman put an opposite-field double into the gap in left-center, clearing the bases and giving the Blue and White a 4-1 lead.
Back-to-back walks to start the eighth to Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) and Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) had MU in business. Sweeney turned a single to right to plate Gronsky, and Jacobson continued his strong day with a run-scoring double. The final Monmouth run of the inning came in when Alessandrine drew a bases loaded walk, giving Monmouth a 7-1 advantage.
Penn would battle back in the final two innings, starting with a three run eighth. McGarry delivered a two-run double down the left field line, and two batters later Rich Brebner hit a sacrifice fly to cut the MU lead to 7-4. The Quakers added a two-out run in the ninth when Mike Vilardo tripled and came home on Connor Betbeze’s RBI single.
Monmouth will be back in action next Friday for the beginning of a three game weekend series at George Washington. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.