BASEBALL FALLS TO NO. 2 VANDERBILT, 13-1
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville) had a single and a run-scoring sacrifice fly, but the Monmouth University baseball team fell at No. 2 Vanderbilt, 13-1, Sunday afternoon at Hawkins Field. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 1-3, while the Commodores improve to 7-1.
Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South), Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) and Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) added one hit each, with Perry scoring the Hawks' run. Starting pitcher Jonathan Shippee (Waterford, N.Y./Shenendehowa) took the loss on the mound, allowing two earned runs on one hit, four walks and one hit-by-pitch. Shippee was also plagued by two balks and a wild pitch.
Kyle Smith led the Commodores offensively with a double, a triple and four RBI's in his two at bats. He also scored twice. Vince Conde added a pair of hits, while Tony Kemp scored four runs. Philip Pfeifer earned the victory for Vanderbilt, allowing one unearned run on two hits and a walk over 6.0 innings pitched. He struck out six.
Each team crossed the plate once in the first inning. After Perry reached on a fielding error and moved to second on a Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) sacrifice bunt, Guida singled him over to third. Perry then scored on Gronsky's sacrifice fly.
Vandy countered with a run in the bottom of the first. Jack Lupo walked, moved to second on a balk and came around to score on a Connor Harrell double. The Commodores again struck in the third inning with the aid of walks, balks and, this time, a wild pitch. Kemp reached on a leadoff walk, stole second with one out and after Conrad Gregor walked, both runners advanced on Shippee's second balk of the game. The two runners again advanced later in the count on a wild pitch. Shippee was pulled after walking Mike Yastrzemski, and Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) limited the damage by inducing a flyout to end the threat.
The Commodores added another run in the fifth, as Lupo singled with one out, stole second and scored on Gregor's single up the middle. Vandy would add two more in the sixth without benefit of a hit. A hit-by-pitch, error on a sacrifice bunt attempt and a stolen base put runners on second and third. The Hawks cut down the runner from third on a fielder's choice for the first out, but both runners advanced to second and third to keep the threat alive. A fielding error allowed the first run of the inning to score before Gregor's sacrifice fly scored the second run to give Vanderbilt a 5-1 edge.
The Hawks threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with one out on the strength of a Gronsky single and walks by Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) and Dan Shea (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum). But Vandy reliever Carson Fulmer struck out a pair of Hawks pinch hitters to extinguish the threat.
Smith's two-out, pinch-hit double down the right field line scored Vince Conde to give Vandy a 6-1 lead before a balk and a wild pitch scored two more in the bottom of the seventh. Smith again struck with the bases loaded in the eighth with a bases-clearing triple to push the Vanderbilt lead to 11-1. A walk and a John Norwood pinch-hit, two-run double made it 13-1.
The Hawks return to action Friday, when they begin a three-game set at Delaware. First pitch from Bob Hannah Baseball Stadium is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.