- The top-seeded Monmouth University baseball team, Northeast Conference Regular Season Champions, opened postseason play on Friday afternoon with a 2-1 victory against #4 Central Connecticut State University, behind a complete-game effort from graduate Nick Meyers
. Classmates Ryan Terry
and Nick Pulsonetti
each delivered RBI's in the bottom of the eighth inning to propel the Hawks to the comeback win.
The Hawks finally solved CCSU starter Nick Neumann in the bottom of the eighth inning when Jon Guida
earned a leadoff walk and moved to second following a Josh Boyd
sacrifice bunt. Jamie Rosenkranz
and Ed Martin
both worked walks to load the bases, bringing the Northeast Conference Player of the Year, Terry to the plate, who singled through the right side, tying the game at 1-1. Pulsonetti followed with a sacrifice fly to shallow right field, bringing home Rosenkranz and giving the Hawks the lead for good, 2-1.
Meyers, the NEC Pitcher of the Year, worked quickly through the first three innings, retiring the first ten batters he faced. The Blue Devils earned their first hit off Meyers in the fourth frame as Dylan DelaCruz singled up the middle. After a groundout moved DelaCruz to second base, Pat Epps hit a shallow fly to center field that found space in the Hawks' defense, bringing home DelaCruz and gave Central Connecticut State a 1-0 lead.
Meyers continued to puzzle the CCSU hitters for the remainder of the game, scattering three base hits, striking out five and walking two Blue Devils, in his second complete-game victory of his career. With the win, the left-hander improves to 9-1 on the season.
Neumann threw seven and a third innings for the Blue Devils, allowing seven hits, two earned runs, while striking out two and walking three Monmouth hitters. Neumann, who was supported by three turned double-plays in the first three innings, was charged with the loss and moves to 5-3 on the season.
Freshman Jake Gronksy and Terry each registered two hits on the afternoon for the Blue and White.
Monmouth returns to action tomorrow, when the Hawks face #2 Sacred Heart at 3:30 p.m., at Dodd Stadium. SHU defeated Long Island 10-1 in the second game of the opening day, to advance to the winner's bracket against the top-seeded Hawks. #3 LIU and #4 CCSU will compete in the tournament's first elimination game at noon.