WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Behind a complete game victory from junior Brad Brach (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township), two home runs, including a grand slam by senior Justin Braun (Stony Brook, N.Y./St. John the Baptist), the Monmouth University baseball team posted a 10-1 win over Sacred Heart in Northeast Conference action on Thursday afternoon. The win improves the Hawks’ record to 28-18-1 overall and 12-8 in the NEC.
Junior Andy Meyers (Stratford, N.J./Sterling) put the Hawks ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first, as the first baseman connected on his eighth home run of the season, on an 0-1 pitch, down the rightfield line.
SHU’s Jason Maiella cut the lead in the half in the top of the second with his solo shot to left field, making the score 2-1.
The Hawks tacked on five runs, loading the bases twice in the sixth inning, for a 7-1 advantage. With Chris Collazo (Wall, N.J./Wall), Shawn Teters (Springdale, Ark./Springdale) and Mike Casale (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) on base, each having singled, Braun connected on a shot to right, his fourth on the year. Meyers, with the bases loaded again, lifted a sacrifice fly for the final score of the frame.
Monmouth added a run in the seventh when Braun lifted a sacrifice fly, for an 8-1 cushion. The Blue and White registered a run-scoring double from Meyers and a Collazo sac fly in the eighth to push the lead to 10-1.
Brach tossed his fourth complete game on the season, working 9.0 innings, allowing five hits, while striking out 10 batters, one off his season-high. The junior, who allowed just two hits over the first seven innings, also walked none.
Teters robbed Jeff Hanson of a home run in the top of the ninth inning, as the junior pulled a would-be homer to leftcenter back into the yard.
Braun drove in a career-best five runs in the win, while Meyers drove in four with his 2-for-4 outing. Kyle Messineo (Cedar Grove, N.J./Cedar Grove) and Casale each added two hits as well.
Chris Howard (6-6) was saddled with the loss for the Pioneers, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks, over 5.1 frames. The senior also registered eight strikeouts.
Monmouth and Sacred Heart are set to play an NEC doubleheader on Friday afternoon, with first pitch set for noon.