HAWKS AND BULLDOGS SPLIT NEC DOUBLEHEADER
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Behind sophomore Andrew McGee's (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) three-hit, complete game shutout, the Monmouth University baseball team (31-19, 19-8 NEC) picked up a 3-0 game one victory, before falling to Bryant (30-19, 21-6 NEC) 6-2 in the nightcap of a Northeast Conference doubleheader.
En route to his fifth consecutive victory, McGee worked his third-straight complete game, going the distance for the fourth time in his last five outings. The sophomore hurler recorded seven strikeouts, yielding one walk and just three hits to earn his seventh win of the season.
Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) started the second inning off with a double and moved to third on Chris Perret's (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) infield single. Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) connected on a single through the right side, chasing in Avella for the first run of the game, and Josh Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central) kept the offensive alive with a walk to load the bases. Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) grounded out to third, plating Perret giving the Blue and White a 2-0 lead.
An RBI base hit by Perry in the sixth inning, scoring Sweeney who singled with one out, added an insurance run for the Hawks.
Bryant's starter Craig Schlitter also worked a complete game, allowing three runs on six hits and five walks, while striking out five.
In game two, Bryant corralled a first inning lead on a two-run double by Jamie Skagerlind. Monmouth cut the Bulldogs' advantage in half in the third as Sweeney singled and moved to third on a double by Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township). Perry registered a sacrifice fly to left field, putting the Hawks on the board.
Bryant answered in the ensuing inning plating two on an RBI single by Skagerlind and an errant throw by Boyd in center pushed the Bulldogs' ahead by three, 4-1. Two errors by the Hawks in the sixth inning and a pair of hits from Bryant ran the score to 6-1.
Rosenkranz started the seventh with a single, moved to third on Ed Martin's (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC] single and scored MU's final run on Boyd's base hit down the left line.
Jonathan Shippee (Waterford, N.Y./Shenendehowa) was tagged with the loss, surrendering three earned runs on five hits with a strikeout in three innings. Rookie T.J. Hunt (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) worked two perfect frames with a punch-out, while Charlie Battis (Hamilton, N.J./Notre Dame) yielded two unearned runs in an inning of work. Freshman Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) hurled a 1-2-3 seventh in relief.
Joseph Michaud threw the second Bryant complete game of the afternoon. The righty went all seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts.
Prior to tomorrow's 1 p.m. series finale against the Bulldogs, the Monmouth baseball program will honor its seniors in a pregame ceremony.