WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.
– Powered by senior Paul Bottigliero
’s three home runs and seven RBI, the Monmouth University baseball team defeated Wagner, 13-7 in Northeast Conference play on Friday afternoon in the first of a four-game weekend series. MU improves to 18-14 on the season and 7-2 in league play, while the Seahawks fall to 14-14 overall and 4-5 in the conference.
Bottigliero, who belted three home runs on the day in three consecutive at-bats, collected his second multi-home run game of the season, and matched a season-high with seven runs driven in, which included his second grand slam of the campaign. Bottigliero’s three-homer day, marked the first time since Jeff Toth against Marist in 2001 that a Monmouth player has accomplished the feat.
Monmouth starting pitcher Kyle Breese
, who allowed three runs on three hits in the first inning alone, allowed six hits in 8.0 innings of work. The junior, who allowed only one run after the first, earned his fourth win of the season, while striking out four.
Wagner leadoff batter Damian Csakai got the game’s scoring started when he took a Breese full-count offering over the left field fence. Two batters later, WC’s Vin Avella drove another full count pitch over the left field fence, scoring Jared Gruccio who reached after getting hit with a pitch, to give the Seahawks a 3-0 lead after the first half inning.
The Hawks responded in the bottom of the first frame when they struck for five runs off of Wagner starter Kyle Morrison. Leadoff hitter Brett Holland
singled up the middle and eventually came around to score on a fielder’s choice for MU’s first run. The big blast in the inning came courtesy of Paul Bottigliero
, who launched his second grand slam of the season on a 3-2 pitch to dead center field, giving MU a 5-3 lead after one.
After the Seahawks added another tally in the top of the second, Monmouth responded when Ryan Terry
laced a run-scoring single to right, plating Holland. Terry eventually made his way to third and scored on a throwing error on WC catcher Chris Drechsel. MU added another run in the frame when Rick Niederhaus
singled through the drawn-in infield, plating Nick Pulsonetti
Bottigliero hit his second consecutive long ball, this one to left center, to boost Monmouth’s lead to 9-4 in the bottom of the third inning.
Senior Chris Collazo
singled up the middle, plating Terry and Pulsonetti, increase the Blue and White’s advantage to 11-4 in the bottom of the fourth. Bottigliero hit his third home run in as many at-bats when he lifted a Ryan Von Spronsen 2-1 pitch over the centerfield fence to give the Hawks a nine-run lead.
Wagner added three unearned runs against the Hawks in the top of the seventh on two Monmouth errors to make the final score 13-7.
Freshman Jonathan Shippee
tossed the ninth inning for the Hawks, surrendering three unearned runs, due to two Monmouth miscues.
Bottigliero led the offensive charge, going 3-for-4 with seven RBI, matching his season high. Terry went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, while Collazo added three RBI and two runs scored. Pulsonetti scored three runs on the day as well, and Holland went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Monmouth returns to action tomorrow, when the Hawks take on Wagner in a league doubleheader. First pitch is set for 12:00 pm.