WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.– Junior lefthander Jeff Singer (Riverton, N.J./Gloucester C.C./Holy Cross) faced the minimum through eight innings, allowing only one hit in a dominating performance on Wednesday afternoon to boost the Monmouth University baseball team to a 10-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson at MU Baseball Field. Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) led the MU offensive outburst with five RBI’s, including a three-run home run in the eighth. The Hawks improve to 10-17, while FDU falls to 7-19.
Singer mowed through the Knights in order for the first 21 batters of the afternoon, striking out five and needing only 64 pitches to get through seven frames. The only base runner he allowed all day was John Giakas, who lined a single the other way leading off the eighth. After Pat McClure popped up, Ryan McGrath grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, and Singer’s stellar outing finished with him facing 24 batters and recording 24 outs in eight innings. Adam Yunginger (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) tossed a spotless ninth, and the MU pitchers successfully limited FDU to one base runner and 27 at-bats all day.
Offensively, the bats came alive for MU, which scored ten runs on a season-high 16 hits and had three players notch three hits on the day. Sweeney went 3-for-5 with five RBI’s and a run scored, while Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Northampton C.C./Warren Hills Regional) also went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Grant Lamberton (Newark, Del./Salesianum) collected his first career three-hit day while also scoring twice.
Singer struck out two in the top of the third, and the MU bats got going shortly thereafter. Bamford walked leading off the third and Lamberton lined a single to left, moving Bamford to third with nobody out. Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) took advantage of an opening in right-center field, dropping an RBI double in to put MU in front, 1-0. With the infield playing halfway, Sweeney punched a single the other way to give Monmouth a 2-0 lead. Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) muscled a sacrifice fly to left, and MU led it 3-0.
The Hawks added a pair on in the fourth, starting with Bamford’s line drive double to left center with one out. After an intentional walk to Gronsky with two down, Sweeney made FDU pay by hammering an RBI base hit to left. With Sweeney at first and Gronsky at third with two out, FDU pitcher Joe Flack flung a pickoff attempt up the right field line in foul ground to score Gronsky and give the Hawks a 5-0 lead.
Singer’s control was on point all day, walking nobody and only going to one three ball count all day long. He got a double play to end the top of the eighth, and the Monmouth offense broke it open in the bottom of the eighth. Bamford started things with a single to left, his third rally-starting hit of the day, and Lamberton laced his third hit, a double to left center. After Bamford was cut down at the plate on a ground ball to short, Sweeney crushed a home run to straightaway left field. The three-run blast was Sweeney’s third of the season, and opened up the lead to 8-0. The next batter, Avella, was hit by a pitch, and Christian Holland (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) picked up his first career hit, a line-drive single inside the left field line. Connor White (Wall, N.J./Wall) roped a double just inside the left field line to bring home two, and that put the score at 10-0 where it would stay. Yunginger worked a 1-2-3 ninth and MU shut out Fairleigh Dickinson, 10-0.
The Hawks return to the diamond on Friday morning for a MAAC game at Fairfield. First pitch is set for 11:00 a.m. for the single game against the Stags.