WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Paced by a strong start by John McDonald (Langhorne, Pa./Conwell Egan Catholic), who earned his first career victory, and a three-run home run from Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) in the sixth inning, the Monmouth University baseball team defeated Saint Peter's College, 7-3, Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action. The Hawks, who also received two hits from Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township), Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC]) and Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan), improve to 27-16 on the season and 16-4 at home, while the Peacocks fall to 16-25 with the loss.
McDonald allowed two earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work to pick up his first win. The righty's 6.2 innings on the hill sets a new career-best, erasing his old mark of 6.1 innings established last season against Saint Peter's. Joe Loiodice (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) did not allow a hit in 1.1 innings out of the bullpen, striking out three, while Neil Harm (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) hurled a one-hit ninth.
The Hawks grabbed the early lead in the first inning as Rosenkranz singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on Steve Wilgus' (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) groundout. Martin followed with RBI single to center, plating his senior classmate. Avella worked a full-count walk, pushing Martin to second and a balk by SPC's starter Eric Mozeika advanced Martin and Avella each a base. Two batters later, Martin crossed home on a wild pitch and Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) singled home Avella to give MU a 3-0 advantage.
William Rawson connected on an RBI double in the third and Chris Grims' groundout plated Matt Speckman, who reached on an error, to bring the Peacocks within one, 3-2, but Saint Peter's would not get any closer.
MU picked up a run in the fifth on a RBI double by Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic), chasing Avella in from first after he walked with one out in the frame.
Rosenkranz singled to start the sixth and Wilgus walked to set up Avella's seventh home run of the season, a three-run blast over the right field wall to push the Blue and White ahead, 7-2.
Brian Schroeder connected on a home run in the ensuing half inning to account for the final tally of the afternoon.
In defeat, Mozekia worked 4.2 innings for SPC allowing four runs on six hits with surrendering six walks.
The Blue and White, which completed its seven-game homestand with a 5-2 record, hits the road this weekend for a four-game set with LIU Brooklyn, beginning on Friday at 3 p.m.