- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 06 April 2016
- Written by JOHN SORCE | STAFF WRITER
The MU baseball team split two games against in-state rival Rutgers and took two out of three against MAAC conference opponent Manhattan last week.
MU traveled to Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, NY to take on Manhattan in a weekend series. The two teams split a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 2.
Senior southpaw Frank Trimarco got the ball in game one and gave up four runs on ten hits in six innings, but left the game with his team up by a run. Freshman Joe Molettiere came in the game in the seventh and pitched into the ninth, when he gave up two runs on a Jose Carrera double to tie the game at five and an RBI single by Fabian Pena gave the Jaspers game one.
“They’re always tough,” head coach Dean Ehehalt said about Manhattan. “They’re kind of like we are. They’re a scrappy team, they throw strikes and are tough outs at the plate and they have some guys who can really run. They had some injuries last year and their season didn’t go quite as well as they wanted it to. They’re a very talented team that is well coached.”
The Hawks bounced back in game two defeating Manhattan 5-4 behind junior right hander Ricky Dennis, who allowed four runs [one earned] in five innings on six hits and five strikeouts. The Blue and White scored all five of their runs in the fifth. Freshman catcher Clay Koniencki led off with a single and advanced to third on singles by senior shortstop Robbie Alessandrine and sophomore second baseman Justin Trochiano to load the bases. Back-to-back walks plated two run and cut the deficit in half and senior left fielder Dan Shea singled home two more runs to tie the game at four. Senior center fielder Cary Jacobson’s sacrifice fly gave the Hawks a 5-4 lead they would not give up.
The final game of the series was moved to the MU Baseball Field due to weather and was played on Monday, Apr. 4, with MU downing Manhattan 7-3. Senior left hander Anthony Ciavarella struck out seven over 5.1 innings for his third win of the season, and the Hawks were led offensively by Jacobson’s two RBI.
“Anthony Ciavarella did a great job and collectively our pitching was good today,” Ehehalt said. “We showed the ability to capitalize and have a big inning, and [junior catcher] Ryan Bailey had a really good game throwing their catalyst [junior infielder Jose Carrera] out twice.
The Hawks scored six runs in the fifth inning when Jacobson’s bases loaded single plated two runs and junior outfielder Chris Gaetano’s grounder to first base was thrown into left field, bringing home two more runs. Senior outfielder Christian Holland drove in a run on a double and came around to score on a balk for the sixth run of the inning.
After falling 20-4 to the Scarlet Knights at Bainton Field in Piscataway on Tuesday, Mar. 29, the two teams made the 45 minute trip south to West Long Branch for the second game of the home-and-home series on Wednesday, Mar. 30 when the Hawks upended Rutgers 12-2.
Freshman right hander Tyler Ksiazek made his second colligate start and gave head coach Dean Ehehalt seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits and five strikeouts.
Gaetano went 3-5 with two runs scored and three RBI while Koniencki, Alessandrine, and Holland all drove in two runs each.
“Yesterday was just one of those days and it didn’t have anything to do with today,” Ehehalt said. “Tyler Ksiazek set the tone and when you get good pitching, you always have a chance and that was the case today. Tyler was outstanding, he was a real bulldog out there and it was good to see him take the next step in his career as a guy who has kind of arrived as a starting pitcher.”
Ehehalt noted that he only had two pitchers available for the Wednesday game, with freshman right hander Joe Molettiere coming in for the final two innings.
“He threw nicely at Hofstra by giving us a chance and he certainly took this situation and ran with it,” Ehehalt said. “We only had two pitchers available today, and we were fortunate to get a great outing from Ksiazek.”
Monmouth (14-13, 5-1 MAAC) returns to the diamond on Wednesday, Apr. 6 at Princeton followed by a three game road series against Saint Peter’s on Apr. 9-10. They return home on Tuesday, Apr. 12 against Lafayette.
PHOTO COURTESY of Taylor Jackson