PRINCETON, N.J.– Jeff Singer (Riverton, N.J./Gloucester C.C./Holy Cross) went six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits as the Monmouth University baseball team shut out Princeton, 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Clarke Field. MU moves to 8-15 on the year, while the Tigers fall to 9-15.
Singer allowed only two hits and two walks in six shutout frames, striking out three. Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) came on for 2.2 shutout frames, and Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) got the save after striking out Will Davis to end the game. Nick Donatiello started for the Tigers, going 4.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits, striking out five and walking three. Three Tigers relievers went 4.1 innings, allowing one run.
Singer pitched through some minor trouble in the first, stranding two after an error and a hit by pitch. He rebounded to set down eight in a row until the fourth, when Princeton recorded its first hit of the afternoon, a 20 foot roller off the bat of Alec Keller that Singer couldn’t handle cleanly. He would rebound and set down the side in order.
The Hawks put runners in scoring position in the second and the fourth, but couldn’t plate a run until the fifth, scoring a pair. The offense began when Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) worked out a walk. A pickoff attempt at first went up the right field line, enabling Guida to move up two bases on the error. Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) also walked, and Grant Lamberton (Newark, Del./Salesianum) went with the pitch, lining a sacrifice fly to left to give MU the 1-0 lead. Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) was next, and he ripped a double the opposite way to put Monmouth up 2-0.
Princeton’s Zack Belski doubled to deep left leading off the bottom of the fifth. Singer allowed a walk but Belski never moved up, and Monmouth still led it 2-0. The Tigers put another pair of runners on in the sixth, but Singer induced a first pitch foul pop-up from Belski to finish his day.
The top of the eighth started with consecutive singles from Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) and Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), and Ryan Bailey (Mount Kisco, N.Y./Fox Lane) rocketed a liner up the middle with nobody out. Princeton pitcher Jonathan York got a glove on it and tipped it to himself, brought it in and fired to first to double up Avella, robbing Bailey of a potential run-scoring hit.
MU tacked on a run in the ninth, after Guida hit a single hard into left and went to second on a passed ball. After moving to third on a ground out, Guida scored when Gronsky notched his second RBI of the day, a line drive single to left to put Monmouth up 3-0.
Princeton got a leadoff single in the ninth, but a 6-3 double play erased that. Paglione came on with one on and two down in the ninth to strike out Davis looking and secure the non-conference win for Monmouth.
The Hawks return to action with a MAAC doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Manhattan beginning at noon in Riverdale, N.Y.