BASEBALL OVERWHELMS IONA IN DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Monmouth University baseball team ran its winning streak to 10-games with its non-conference doubleheader sweep of Iona, 12-1 and 8-1, Friday afternoon at MU Baseball Field. The Hawks, who scored a combined 20 runs on 18 hits in the twinbill, improve to 24-13 on the season while the Gaels drop 12-24 on the year.
In game one, Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale]) singled up the middle to start the Monmouth third and Ryan Terry (Levittown, N.J./Harry S. Truman) blasted his fifth home run of the season to left, staking the Hawks to a 2-0 lead.
James Beck took a 0-2 pitch from MU's starter Nick Meyers (East Brunswick, N.J./East Brunswick) over the left field wall in the fourth inning to cut the Blue and White's lead to 2-1.
Monmouth put five runs on the board in the fifth, as Terry lead off with a triple and crossed home plate on Nick Pulsonetti's (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) single through the left side. Pulsonetti advanced to third on Owen Stewart's (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) single and scored on Cal Costanzo's (Edison, N.J./Edison) base hit to right. After Brian Callahan entered the contest in relief for the Gaels, Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) registered single to right, which was mishandled by the right fielder and then thrown away by the second baseman on the relay, allowing Costanzo and Stewart to come around and score. Two batters later, Martin registered a RBI-double, chasing in Boyd, to give the Hawks a comfortable 7-1 lead.
Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) registered a two-run double, scoring Guida, who also doubled, and Boyd, who reached on a single, while Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) connected on his Northeast Conference leading ninth home run of the season, a three-run shot, to extend MU's lead to 12-1 in the seventh.
Martin, Terry and Guida tallied three hits apiece for the Hawks in the victory.
Meyers earned his sixth win of the season, yielding one run and recording eight punch-outs, while only walking one in 7.2 innings. Nick Vallillo (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) hurled a scoreless 1.1 frames in relief, striking out four.
Iona's starter Eddie Macaluso is saddled with the loss allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work.
In game two, the Gaels jumped on sophomore starter Dan Smith (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) in the first inning on James Beck's RBI double, giving Iona a 1-0 lead.
Monmouth responded in the home half of the first as Rosenkranz reached on fielding error by the shortstop, moved to third on Martin's single and Terry loaded the bases by getting hit the pitch. Pulsonetti followed with a two-run single, chasing in Rosenkranz and Martin, while Terry scored on Stewart's sacrifice bunt. After Tim Bickford (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata) earned a free pass, Guida connected on single, plating Pulsonetti, giving the Hawks a 4-1 lead.
The Blue and White added to its total in the second as Rosenkranz, who walked to lead off the frame, scored on a wild pitch and Martin, who reached on a double, touched home on Danny Avella's (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) fielder's choice pushing the Hawks ahead, 6-1.
With one out in the fifth, Guida singled and moved to third on Boyd's double to the gap in right-center and came around to score on Rosenkranz's sacrifice fly to left. After Martin earned a five-pitch walk Terry recorded an RBI-single, scoring Boyd, to give MU an 8-1 lead.
Guida recorded a 3-for-3 performance in the nightcap, while Pulsonetti, who collected his 200th hit in the contest, posted a 2-for-3 game including two RBIs.
Smith (3-2) threw his second complete-game of the season, allowing one run on four hits, while fanning six without issuing a walk.
Colin Lyall is credited with the loss, yielding six runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of action.
Tomorrow's game with at Iona is canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. The Hawks will return to the diamond on Tuesday, April 26th, as they host Seton Hall at 3:30 p.m. in a non-conference battle.