HAWKS SWEEP KNIGHTS IN NEC DOUBLEHEADER
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Monmouth University baseball team ran its winning streak to six games with a pair of victories against in-state foe Fairleigh Dickinson, in Northeast Conference play Saturday afternoon at MU Baseball Field. The Hawks cruised to a 9-0 victory in game one, receiving 6.0 scoreless innings from starter Dan Smith (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee), while Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) and Josh Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central) supplied the offense as the trio combined to drive in seven runs. In the nightcap, Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) tossed his first career complete game, striking out five in the process, to earn his second win of the season.
With the two wins, MU improves to 10-6 (3-0 NEC) on the season, while FDU drops to 3-9-1 (0-3 NEC) on the year.
In game one, Boyd went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored, while Rosenkranz drove in two tallies on three hits and Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) plated three runs on his double and sacrifice fly.
Smith scattered three hits while striking out a trio of Knights en route to his third win of the season. Rookie Reid Van Woert (Johnson City, N.Y./Maine Endwell) came in for a one-hit seventh to close it out for the Blue and White.
Boyd led off game with a bunt single and advanced to second on Rosenkranz's base hit down the left field line. After a successful double steal by the seniors, Avella connected on a two-run double inside the first base bag to give MU an early 2-0 lead.
Boyd connected on a RBI double in the second inning, scoring Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South), who also registered a two-bagger, to increase the Hawks advantage to 3-0.
The Hawks struck again in the third, plating a run on Ed Martin's (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC]) base hit, scoring Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area), who singled to start the frame. The Blue and White continued its offensive attack with two runs in the fourth on Rosenkranz's double and Avella's sacrifice fly to center to bring its lead to 6-0.
In the ensuing inning, Sweeney drove in Martin on a sacrifice fly, Boyd's groundout plated Tim Bickford (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) and Rosenkranz's single up the middle scored Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) as the Hawks' added three which pushed their lead to 9-0.
Eric Anderson is tagged with the loss for FDU, allowing four runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings of action.
In game two, Mike Hewson's bases-loaded sacrifice fly gave the Knights a 1-0 in the fourth inning. The Hawks got on the board in the home half of the fifth as Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) led off the frame with a single, moved to second on Bickford's sacrifice bunt, and advanced over to third on a wild pitch. Guida laced a ball to the centerfield allowing Perret to tag up from third and knot the game at 1-1.
Gronsky started the sixth with a double to right field and moved to third on Avella's groundout. With the infield drawn in, Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) connected on a 0-1 pitch through the left side, chasing in Gronsky, giving MU its first lead of the game. Martin added an insurance run for Monmouth on a RBI double, plating Stewart, pushing the Hawks' advantage to 3-1.
Brendan Butler, who also threw a complete game, is saddled with the loss for the Knights. The starter yielded three runs on five hits in 6.0 innings on the hill which drops his record to 0-2 on the year.
MU and FDU will conclude the four-game NEC series at 1 p.m. tomorrow with a nine-inning affair.