LANTANA, FLA. - Paced by a three-run first inning, the Monmouth University baseball team defeated St. Bonaventure, 5-3, Monday morning at Santaluces Sports Complex. The Hawks, who snapped a three-game losing streak, improved to 3-4 with the win while the Bonnies fall to 3-6 on the year.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, senior Nick Pulsonetti (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) hit his second home run in as many days to put the Hawks ahead, 1-0. Back-to-back doubles from sophomore Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) and rookie Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./St. Mark's) followed by an Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) single to right field pushed the Hawks' lead to, 3-0.
Pulsonetti's home run was the 30th of the senior's career, which places him in a tie for second all-time in school history with George West.
The Bonnies received RBI doubles from Nick Brennen in the first and third inning to cut the Hawks' lead to 3-2.
Monmouth tacked on two insurance runs in the fourth as St. Bonaventure's starter Robert Nalepa walked the bases loaded with two outs. Pulsonetti then delivered a single to third base off Bonnies' reliever Jordan Crane, scoring juniors Josh Boyd (Port Murrary, N.J./West Morris Central) and Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan (Brookdale CC), who came around on a throwing error by Billy Urban, to push the Blue and White's lead to 5-2.
St. Bonaventure added another run in the eighth, taking advantage of a Stewart muffed ball at first base, which accounted for the final run of the ball game.
Graduate starter Andy McDonnell (Newtown Square, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) threw three innings for the Hawks, allowing two runs on six hits. Freshman Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) picks up his second win of the season, allowing one unearned run on four hits in his five innings of work, while senior Matt Frazier (Whippany, N.J./Whippany Park) earned his first save of the year, pitching a perfect ninth. Nalepa is credited with the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 3.2 innings.
Monmouth returns to action on Friday, March 11th in the first game of the Keith LeClair Classic with a 5 p.m. start against host school East Carolina.