WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University baseball team scored a season-high 12 runs and freshman starting pitcher Anthony Ciavarella (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) hurled six shutout innings as the Hawks defeated future MAAC foe Saint Peter’s, 12-2, Wednesday afternoon on the MU Baseball Field. With the win, the Hawks improve to 9-10, while the Peacocks fall to 7-12.
Ciavarella picked up his first-career victory in his second start of the year, holding the Peacocks scoreless on three hits and one walk, while striking out four. Frank Trimarco (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) and Chris McKenna (Pine Beach, N.J./Toms River South) followed with scoreless innings on the mound for the Hawks. Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) led the Monmouth offense with a 2-for-3 day, including a home run, an RBI double and a run-scoring sacrifice fly. He also scored twice. Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) added three hits, two doubles, a run scored and an RBI, while Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) drove in the Hawks’ first run with a triple in the first inning, and finished with three RBI’s and a run scored.
Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) chipped in with a 2-for-4 day with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) also stayed hot with a 2-for-3 effort with a run scored and an RBI. He reached base all five times he came to the plate, getting hit by two pitches and reaching on a fielding error. In total, the Hawks racked up 14 hits.
Nicholas Henriquez and Vincent Maietta led Saint Peter’s with two hits each. Maietta and Nick Cardamone drove in two Peacocks runs with two outs in the ninth on a pair of singles. Brian Schroeder surrendered seven runs, five earned, on eight hits, a walk and two hit batsmen over four innings in taking the loss.
The Hawks struck for at least two runs in five of the first six innings to stake Ciavarella to a 12-0 lead. Monmouth immediately jumped all over Schroeder as Wilgus led things off in the first with a single up the middle and Gronsky drove him in with a one-hopper off left-center field wall for a triple. Perret’s sacrifice fly scored Gronsky and the Hawks led, 2-0, after one. In the third, Perret led off with a towering home run to right center, before Stewart was hit by a pitch and Bamford doubled to put runners in scoring position with one out. A Dan Shea (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) sacrifice fly plated Stewart to put the Hawks up 4-0.
Monmouth kept the pressure on with three runs in the fourth and sixth innings sandwiched around a two-run fifth. Robbie Alessandrine (Sewell, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) reached on an error, moved to second on a Wilgus bunt single and took third on a wild pitch, before scoring Gronsky’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. Still on first, Wilgus swiped second and scored on Perret’s double down the right field line. After moving to third on a groundout, Perret scored on Stewart’s single to left to put Monmouth on top, 7-0, after four.
In the fifth, two walks and an infield single loaded the bases for Wilgus, whose sacrifice fly brought Shea to the plate. Gronsky followed suit with a sacrifice fly to center to score Cary Jacobson (Los Angeles, Calif./Palisades) to push the Hawks’ lead to 9-0. In the sixth, pinch hitter Max Miller (Calabasas, Calif./Montclair Prep) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning before going first-to-third on a Stewart single to left and scoring on Bamford’s double to left center. Chris Greco (Totowa, N.J./Passaic Valley [Hofstra/Brookdale C.C.]) drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases. Alessandrine drove in one with a single through the right side and a Wilgus fielder’s choice brought another run to the plate, putting Monmouth on top, 12-0.
The Peacocks scored twice on a pair of two-out singles in bottom of the ninth before Charlie Battis (Hamilton, N.J./Notre Dame) recorded the final out of the 12-2 victory.
The Hawks return to action tomorrow, when they begin a four-game Northeast Conference series with Central Connecticut. First pitch of a nine-inning contest from MU Baseball Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.