NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - The Monmouth University baseball team scored five runs in the first and fifth inning, respectively, to give starter Dan Smith (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) all the run support he needed for his fifth win of the season as the Hawks' defeated Central Connecticut State, 11-3, in the series finale, Sunday afternoon. Smith yielded three runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work, while Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) drove in a career-best four runs for the Blue and White.
With the win, the Hawks improve to 22-14 (11-5 NEC), while the Blue Devils fall to 18-16 (11-9 NEC).
The first seven batters that Monmouth sent up to bat in the top of the first inning reached base which led to the first five runs of the contest. Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC]) continued his strong weekend at the plate with a single to kick-off the game. Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) moved Martin to second on his base hit through the right side and Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) chipped in a single, chasing in Martin for the first run of the game. Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) followed with a base knock to load the bases and a wild pitch allowed Rosenkranz to score and Gronsky and Avella to settle on third and second, respectively. Perret's infield single plated Gronsky and after Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) walked, Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) connected on a two-run single up the middle to give the Blue and White an early 5-0 lead.
Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) singled and stole second base to start the Hawks in the fourth. After Rosenkranz and Avella both walked to load the bases, Perret connected on a bases-clearing double to the right center field gap. Following a pitching change by the Blue Devils, Stewart was tagged with a pitch and Guida followed with a double, plating Perret with ease, while a throwing error enabled Stewart to touch home plate and give the Blue and White a commanding 10-0 advantage.
Gronsky's RBI double in the fifth which scored Perry, who walked to lead off the inning, increased the Hawks' lead to 11-0.
Central tallied a run in the fifth, sixth and eighth inning, but could not get any closer than 11-3.
Neil Harm (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) threw a one-hit ninth out of the Hawks' bullpen.
Guida chased in the runs for the Blue and White and Gronsky chipped in two RBIs on his two hits.
Monmouth returns to West Long Branch for a non-conference tilt at 3:30 with Rutgers on Tuesday, April 17th.