WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Freshman left-handed pitcher Frank Trimarco (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) hurled seven innings of scoreless relief to earn his second win this week as the Monmouth University baseball team split a doubleheader with Wagner Sunday afternoon at MU Baseball Field. With the split, the Hawks (20-13, 12-4 NEC) take 3-of-4 in the series, while the Seahawks move to 13-19 (6-6 NEC).
Trimarco, who earned a win with eight strong innings Tuesday against Hofstra, limited the Seahawks to just three hits and a walk, while striking out six in seven innings. Offensively, Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) led the Hawks with a 4-for-7 effort with four RBI’s and two runs scored on the day. Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) added three hits and two RBI’s, while Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) had two hits, a double and a triple, and four runs scored.
Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) chipped in with a pair of RBI’s, while Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) added two runs scored. Dan Smith (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) took the Game 2 loss, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits, while striking out five.
Nick Dini led Wagner with four hits, four RBI’s and two runs scored on the day. Chris Smith and Ian Miller also scored twice each for the Seahawks. Smith, Jayson Keel and Tommy Mazurkiewicz added two hits each for Wagner. Mike Adams took the Game 1 loss on the mound, allowing four earned runs on three hits and five walks, while striking out two in 4.1 innings. Paul Mammino earned the Game 2 win, allowing three runs, one earned, on eight hits and a walk in eight innings. He struck out six.
In Game 1, Hawks starting pitcher Adam Yunginger (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) immediately had trouble with command, walking and hitting the first two batters of the game, before allowing them to advance on a wild pitch. Dini then singled to score Ian Miller before Ben Ruta’s double down the left field line scored Smith and put runners on second and third. Monmouth Head Coach Dean Ehehalt had seen enough after just four hitters and summoned Trimarco from the bullpen. The freshman southpaw immediately got a line out and a strikeout for the first two outs, before an error was committed on the would-be third out on a ground ball, allowing the third Seahawks run to score. Trimarco got a fly out for the final out and would not allow another Wagner run the rest of the way.
The Hawks responded with two runs in the bottom of the first. Gronsky and Perret took advantage of a tight strike zone by the home plate umpire and drew consecutive one-out walks to get things started. A Stewart single to right loaded the bases before Bamford’s fielder’s choice scored Gronsky and put runners on first and second with two outs. Guida then singled through the left side to score Stewart and the deficit was cut to 3-2 after one inning.
The Hawks struck for three more in the fifth. Gronsky and Perret again walked consecutively to start the rally with one out. Following a pitching change after the first two pitches of Perret’s at bat, Stewart singled through the left side off new Wagner hurler Dakota Dvorak. Gronsky scored on the play to tie the game at 3-3. Bamford then drew a walk to load the bases and Guida was plunked to drive in the go-ahead run. Dvorak got a pop out for the second out, but then uncorked a wild pitch to allow Stewart to score, giving Monmouth a 5-3 lead.
Monmouth tacked on two more in the sixth, with the aid of more free passes. Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) walked and Gronsky got hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Perret then grounded to first to push the runners to second and third, before Stewart singled through the left side to score both runners and pad the Hawks’ lead, now 7-3. Trimarco mowed down the Seahawks’ 2-3-4 hitters with a 1-2-3 seventh to secure the victory.
The teams exchanged one run each in the first inning of Game 2. Miller singled, stole second and scored on a Dini double in the top of the first for Wagner. Gronsky countered with a double down the left field line before scoring on Stewart’s single through the left side.
The Hawks took a 2-1 lead in the third, when a two-out error by the Wagner center fielder allowed Perret to reach second. Following a Stewart walk, Bamford singled to left to score Perret and put the Hawks on top. Wagner immediately countered with two runs in the top of the 4th. Mazurkiewicz led off with a single and scored on Shaun Flynn’s double down the left field line. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Flynn scored on Jason Gordon’s single through the left side to give Wagner a 3-2 lead.
Monmouth tied the game in the fifth. Robbie Alessandrine (Sewell, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) led off with a perfectly-executed bunt single, before moving to second on a Wilgus sacrifice bunt. After moving to third on a fielding error that put runners on the corners, Alessandrine scored on Perret’s single through the right side to tie the game at 3-3.
But Wagner plated a run in the top of the 7th and two more in the top of the 9th, and the Hawks could not counter. Dini delivered an RBI single in both scoring innings and scored in the 9th on a Mazurkiewicz fielder’s choice.
The Hawks return to action Tuesday, when they face off against future MAAC foe Rider. First pitch from Sonny Pittaro Field is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.