WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Junior Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./ Raritan [Brookdale CC]) and sophomore Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) each drove in two runs as the Monmouth University baseball team earned a 5-3 victory over Sacred Heart, Friday afternoon in the Northeast Conference opener for both squads. The Hawks, playing their first home game of the season, improve to 5-6 on the year and 1-0 in league play while the Pioneers' record falls to 6-7 and 0-1 in NEC action.
MU got on the board in the third as senior Ryan Terry (Levittown, Pa./Harry S. Truman) registered a single through the left side. Martin followed by taking the first pitch over the right field fence for his first home run of the season and an early 2-0 Hawk lead.
The Pioneers posted one run over the next three innings on Hunter Phillips groundout, John Murphy single through the left side and Chris Whittemore and Phillips' double steal to gain a 3-2 lead.
The Blue and White regained the lead in the bottom half of the sixth as Martin and senior Nick Pulsonetti (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) registered back-to-back singles with one out. Junior Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) followed with a base hit to left field, scoring Martin, before Avella found the right field gap, plating both Rosenkranz and Martin on his double, which put the Hawks up 5-3.
Matt Frazier (Whippany, N.J./Whippany Park) and Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) combined to throw three scoreless innings to preserve the Hawks victory.
MU starter Nick Meyers (East Brunswick, N.J./East Brunswick) threw 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, to pick up his second win of the season while McGee earns his second save of the year. Pioneers' starter Troy Scribner is credited with the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings of work.
Monmouth and Sacred Heart continue its four-game series tomorrow, March 19th, with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.