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BASEBALL OPENS 2013 WITH 7-6 WIN OVER VILLANOVA

Updated: February 15, 2013 - 6:09 p.m. (ET)
Monmouth Sports Information

CARY, N.C. - Sophomores Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) and Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) had three hits each as the Monmouth University baseball team opened the 2013 season with a 7-6 victory over Villanova, Friday afternoon in the opening day of the Ron Fraser Classic at the USA Baseball Complex. With the Hawks' fourth-straight win at the USA Baseball Complex, MU improves to 1-0, while the Wildcats fall to 0-1.

Wilgus went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Perry was 3-for-5 with three RBI's. Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) and Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) chipped in two hits apiece.

T.J. Hunt (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) picked up the win in relief of Dan Smith (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee), allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out five in 3.0 innings pitched. Smith scattered four hits and a walk in 4.0 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, and striking out three. Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.J./Washingtonville) picked up the save, allowing two hits while striking out two in two-thirds of an inning.

The Hawks struck first in the first inning when Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) scored on Guida's two-out single to right. The Wildcats responded with small ball to score a run in the top of the second. After a hit by pitch and a one-out sacrifice bunt, Brandon Carr singled to left to score Steve Schrenk and even the score at 1-1.

Villanova scored two runs, one earned, in the top of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Schrenk scored on a fielder's choice, while Eric Lowe came in on a dropped pop up on the infield.

The Hawks countered with three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings. Sweeney led off the inning with a single, before moving to second on Owen Stewart's (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) sacrifice bunt. Wilgus then doubled home Sweeney to cut the deficit to one and chase Villanova starter Pat Young from the game after 5.1 innings pitched. The Monmouth offense scored twice more off reliever Matt Meurer. A Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) double put runners on second and third before Perry plated Wilgus and Bamford with a double to left center.

In the seventh, Guida was hit by a pitch and Sweeney singled to put runners on first and second before moving up on Stewart's sacrifice bunt. After a pitching change and a four-pitch Wilgus walk loaded the bases, Bamford also walked to score Guida. Following yet another pitching change, Perry's fielder's choice plated Sweeney, while Wilgus followed on a fielding error to stake the Hawks to a 7-3 lead.

Four sterling innings of relief, three by Hunt and one by Neil Harm (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert), got the Hawks to the top of the ninth with a four-run lead. After Harm struck out the first batter, he hit the next two and was pulled from the game in favor of Frey.

An infield single and a throwing error on the first ball in play against Frey cut the lead to 7-4 and put runners on first and third with one out. Frey struck out Kevin Jewitt for the second out, before Connor Jones singled through the left side to scored two and cut the Hawks' lead to 7-6. But Frey struck out pinch hitter Dan Parham to secure the save and the Monmouth victory. 

The Hawks continue Ron Fraser Classic action Saturday at the USA Baseball Complex when they face Temple. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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