BASEBALL DEFEATS MARYLAND-EASTERN SHORE, 8-2
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area), Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South), Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) and Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) had three hits each as the Monmouth University baseball team defeated the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, 8-2, Tuesday afternoon at Hawks Stadium. With the win, Monmouth moves to 6-8 on the season, while Maryland-Eastern Shore is now 4-16.
Anthony Ciavarella (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) got his first collegiate start and went 3.2 innings, limiting UMES to one earned run on three hits and five walks, while striking out three. Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) picked up the win, throwing three innings of relief. He held UMES to one earned run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four. Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.J./Washingtonville) earned the save, his second of the season, with 2.1 perfect innings. He did not allow a base runner to reach and struck out one after inheriting a bases-loaded situation with two outs in the seventh.
Gronsky came a home run away from the cycle with a single, double and triple, while scoring twice. Sweeney also tripled, drove in a run and scored three times. Bamford drove in three runs and scored once, while Stewart, who has had multi-hit efforts in each of his last four games, drove in two. Chris Perret also scored two runs.
Brandon Schott and Connor Breslin led UMES with two hits each, with Schott contributing an RBI double. Breslin also added a double, while Joshua James drove in the other UMES run with a second-inning single. Tyler Witte took the loss on the mound, allowing six runs, three earned, on seven hits, four walks and a hit batsman in 4.2 innings pitched.
Monmouth immediately jumped on UMES with three runs in the top of the first. After the first two batters were retired, Gronsky tripled to left and scored when Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) reached on an error. Sweeney followed with a single through the right side that pushed Perret to third. After Sweeney stole second, Bamford delivered a two-out, two-run single to score Perret and Sweeney to put Monmouth on top, 3-0.
UMES got a run back in the second. Malik Wylie reached on a leadoff walk, moved to second on a groundout and scored on a Joshua James single to center, cutting the deficit to 3-1. But Monmouth immediately responded in the top of the third with three more runs. After Gronsky singled and was replaced on the base paths by Perret following a fielder's choice, Sweeney singled and Bamford walked to load the bases. Stewart then drove in Perret and Sweeney with a single, before Bamford came to the plate on a wild pitch to put the Hawks on top, 6-1.
UMES cut the deficit to 6-2 in the seventh, when Mike Escanilla singled, stole second and scored on a two-out Brandon Schott double. A walk and a single loaded the bases before Frey was summoned from the bullpen to induce James into a flyout to end the threat and the inning.
Monmouth added two more runs in the top of the ninth. Gronsky led off the inning with a double to right and scored on Sweeney's one-out triple to center. Bamford then singled up the middle to bring Sweeney to the plate and give Frey a six-run cushion to work with in the bottom of the ninth. The junior southpaw wouldn't need any of the insurance, however, as he continued to mow down UMES hitters with his fifth, sixth and seventh consecutive batters retired to end the game.
The Hawks commence Northeast Conference action Friday, when they travel to Hamden, Conn., to take on Quinnipiac. First pitch of Game 1 of the four-game set from the QU Baseball Field is scheduled for 3 p.m. Stay posted to www.GoMUHawks.com for any scheduling changes and all the latest news on Monmouth Baseball.