- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 24 February 2016
- Written by JOHN SORCE | STAFF WRITER
The MU baseball team opened their 2016 season at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, NC this past weekend, going 1-3 in four games.
The Hawks picked up a victory on Opening Day against Penn State by a score of 3-1. Senior southpaw Frank Trimarco got the ball and hurled six innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out five.
Gloucester County College transfer Ben Hoffman debuted in the eighth inning, escaping a one out, bases loaded jam by getting two batters to foul out to first base. After hitting the first batter in the ninth, Hoffman retired the next three Nittany Lions in order to record his first career save at MU. Redshirt sophomore first baseman Shaine Hughes set the tone on offense, going 2-3 with an RBI.
“I am really proud of the way we played today,” said head coach Dean Ehehalt. “Frank Trimarco was outstanding. He pitched out of a jam or two and really set the tone. Ben Hoffman got five huge outs to close it down.”
Saturday saw the Hawks get swept in a double-header (8-5, 8-4) against the Bryant Bulldogs, with the second game being 17 innings, the longest game the team has played since March 9, 2008, a 16 inning affair against UCF.
In the second game, with the game tied at four and neither team crossing the plate from innings 8 through 16, freshman pitchers Jordan McCrum and Joe Molettiere both threw four innings of shutout ball, allowing one hit and striking out three each in their respective debuts. The 17th inning belonged to Hoffman, but Bryant tacked him for four runs on four hits.
MU committed three errors in the first game, leading to five unearned runs in their 8-5 loss. Junior third baseman Grant Lamberton sparked the Hawks offensively, finishing 4-5 with 3 RBI.
After playing 17 innings the night before, MU had a quick turnaround and played another game the next morning at 11 a.m. against Army, which they dropped 6-5. The Black Knights took a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning, but the Hawks tied it with two out in the top of the ninth with an RBI single by Robbie Alessandrine. However, a two out error in the bottom half pushed across the winning run as Army celebrated their first victory of the new season in walk-off fashion.
The blue and white returns to the diamond in the Wofford Tournament beginning on Friday Feb. 26 against UNC Ashville in Spartanburg, SC. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics