RICHMOND, VA. - Junior Pat Light (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) struck out four batters in 8.0 innings of work and sophomore Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) drove in two runs on three hits to pace the Monmouth University baseball team to a 6-4 victory over Virginia Commonwealth, Saturday afternoon at The Diamond. The Hawks snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 4-3 on the season while Rams fall to 5-5 on the year.
VCU opened up the scoring in the first inning, jumping ahead 1-0 but MU responded with two in the third. Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) singled and moved to third on Jon Guida's (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) base knock and later touched home on Josh Boyd's (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central) sacrifice fly. Rosenkranz chased in Guida on a single to give the Blue and White a 2-1 lead.
Sophomore Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) and junior Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) registered back-to-back doubles to open the ensuing frame and senior Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC]) singled home Avella to extend MU's lead to 4-1.
The Rams chipped away at the deficit in the sixth, cutting the Hawks' lead to 4-2 on Brent Mikionis' RBI single, but Monmouth claimed the run right back in the top of the seventh on Rosenkranz's single through the right side, scoring Guida, who doubled a batter earlier.
VCU continued the trend in the home half of the seventh, plating a run on a wild pitch after Bill Cullen tripled with one out in the inning but Guida's bases loaded walk, scoring Martin, who singled earlier in the eighth, gave MU a 6-3 advantage heading into the final inning.
The Rams used an advantage of a Monmouth throwing error to plate their final run but could not score anymore as sophomore Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) came in and shut down VCU, striking out two, to earn his first save of the season and seventh of his young career.
The Hawks scattered nine hits on the Rams' starter, Kyle Haynes, scoring five runs to tag him with the loss. Light improves to 2-1 on the season after his longest outing thus far.
Monmouth and VCU, which got rained out yesterday, will play two nine-inning games tomorrow at The Diamond. Game one is scheduled for noon with the night cap of the doubleheader to start shortly after the conclusion.