SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Andrew McGee (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) went 10 innings for the second-straight start and the Hawks offense scored three runs in the top of the 12th as the Monmouth University baseball team defeated league-leading Bryant, 4-1, in 12 innings Friday afternoon. With the win, the Hawks improve to 29-18 (18-7 NEC), while the Bulldogs fall to 33-15-1 (20-5 NEC).
Freshmen Dan Shea (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) and Robbie Alessandrine (Sewell, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) had two hits each and combined on the game-winning two-out rally in the 12th. Shea reached on a hit-by-pitch, stole second and scored the go-ahead run on Alessandrine’s single. Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) and Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) added a hit and an RBI each.
McGee scattered nine hits and two walks in 10 innings. He struck out five. Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) worked out of a first and third, one-out jam in the 11th to pick up the win, while Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the 12th to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Daniel St. George and Dan Muscatello had three hits each for Bryant. Muscatello scored the lone Bryant run in the first on Kevin Brown’s single. Peter Kelich got the start for the Bulldogs, allowing one earned run on five hits and a walk over 7.2 innings. He struck out seven. Salvatore Lisanti took the loss, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits. He struck out one.
Bryant jumped out to an early lead on the first three batters of the game. Leadoff man Muscatello took the second pitch he saw to the right center field gap and then came around to score on Brown’s single to right to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage.
McGee worked into and out of trouble in the third. After getting a leadoff popup, Muscatello and AJ Zarozny connected on back-to-back singles and McGee plunked Brown on the hip to load the bases. But the junior southpaw induced a fly out and got Carl Anderson to go down swinging to escape the jam unscathed.
Shea sparked Monmouth, leading off the eighth inning with a double to right and advancing over to third on Alessandrine’s bunt single. Gronsky followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Shea for the Hawk’s first run of the game to knot the score at 1-1.
Paglione replaced McGee in the 11th and the Bulldogs provided a scare. With one out, Bryant put runners on the corners. But Paglione got a huge strikeout of Dan Cellucci, before Gronsky made a game-saving play in the hole at second to retire pinch hitter Matt Zanotta. The junior second sacker dove into the hole and quickly threw to Paglione covering to prolong the game.
In the top of the 12th, Lisanti got the first two Hawks out, before Shea was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Alessandrine’s single to right. Gronsky followed with a single that St. George let scoot by him in right. Alessandrine scored on the play and Gronsky raced around to third. He then scored on a Wilgus single to center to give the Hawks a three-run cushion heading to the bottom of the 12th. Frey retired the Bulldogs in order to close out the victory.
The Hawks continue their four-game set at Bryant with a doubleheader of seven-inning games tomorrow. First pitch of Game 1 in Smithfield is set for 1 p.m.