LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – Sophomore righty Chris McKenna (Pine Beach, N.J./Toms River South) threw seven strong innings to earn his first win in his first career start as the Monmouth University baseball team defeated Rider, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon at Sonny Pittaro Field. With the win, the Hawks improve to 21-13, while the Broncs fall to 20-14.
McKenna scattered six hits over a career-high seven innings, striking out four without walking a batter. Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) came on and set down six in a row to convert his second save of the season. He struck out two. Offensively, Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan) and Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) had two hits each. Guida also scored a run. Owen Stewart (Howell, N.J./St. Rose) and Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) each drove in a run, while Chris Perret (Morris Plains, N.J./Morris Catholic) and Connor White (Wall, N.J./Wall) each scored a run.
The Hawks struck first with single runs in the first and second innings. Guida reached on a one-out single, moved to second on an error, third on wild pitch and scored on a Stewart groundout in the first. Perret reached third on a leadoff double and error by the right fielder, and scored on a Wilgus groundout in the second to put the Hawks on top, 2-0.
McKenna got into trouble in the fourth, but got out of it with only one run scored. After getting a flyout to lead off the inning, three consecutive Broncs reached on singles. McKenna then induced another flyout, but a run scored on a fielder’s choice before the Hawks recorded the final out of the inning, cutting the Monmouth lead to 2-1 after four innings.
The Hawks got an insurance run in the seventh, when White led off with a walk, moved to second on a Robbie Alessandrine (Sewell, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) sacrifice bunt and went to third on Jake Gronsky’s (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) single up the middle to put runners on the corners. After Guida was plunked to load the bases, White scored on a wild pitch.
The Hawks return to action Wednesday, when they face intrastate foe Rider. First pitch from Bainton Field is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.