WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University baseball team committed four errors in the final two innings, while Saint Peter’s designated hitter Kevin Kallert connected on a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to tie the score at 8-8, as the Peacocks posted a come-from-behind 9-8 victory over the Hawks on Thursday. Saint Peter’s improves to 9-10 on the year, while the Hawks fall to 6-6-1.
Monmouth led 8-3 entering the top of the eighth, before SPC plated two unearned runs. Kallert knotted the game with a two-out, three-run homer to dead center off freshman reliever Kyle Breese (Monmouth Junction, N.J./South Brunswick), before the third MU error of the inning allowed Frank Pacifico to reach base, who scored the winning run on Dave Lewandowski’s single.
After SPC plated a run in the top of the first, Monmouth claimed a 2-1 advantage by scoring twice in the bottom of the third, as Kyle Higgins (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills) led off with a double and later scored on a passed ball. Andy Meyers (Stratford, N.J./Sterling) connected on his third home run of the season to right centerfield to stake the Hawks to a 2-1 edge.
The Peacocks reclaimed a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth, as a bunt single, an error and a single up the middle plated two.
MU answered with two runs in the home half of the fourth, a lone run in the fifth and three more in the sixth for the 8-3 cushion.
In the fourth, Shawn Teters (Springdale, Ark./Springdale) laced a two-run single, while Chris Collazo’s (Wall, N.J./Wall) single in the fifth frame, plated Rick Niederhaus (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central), who led off the inning with a single.
Meyers delivered a two-run double down the rightfield line in the sixth and Niederhaus lifted a sacrifice fly to account for the 8-3 advantage at the end of six full frames.
Monmouth starting pitcher Brad Brach (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) went 7.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned), while allowing seven hits and striking out six, in his no-decision. The junior threw 102 pitches, 79 for strikes in his outing.
Justin Esposito (Red Bank, N.J./Middletown North) worked 1.0 inning, allowing two unearned runs with two Ks., while Breese, who was saddled with the loss, worked two-thirds of an inning, surrendering four unearned runs, to fall to 0-2 on the year.
Chris Innis, the last of eight SPC pitchers on the day, tossed the final 2.0 scoreless frames for the Peacocks to earn the win.
Higgins went 3-for-4 with three runs scored in the leadoff spot, while Teters, Meyers, Niederhaus and Collazo each collected two hits.
Monmouth returns to action on Saturday, March 24, when the Hawks host Vermont in a doubleheader. First pitch is set for noon.