- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 13 April 2016
- Written by JOHN SORCE | STAFF WRITER
The MU baseball team defeated Princeton and won two out of three in a weekend series against MAAC opponent Saint Peter’s, improving to 17-14 (7-2 MAAC) on the season.
The two teams split a Sunday doubleheader, with the blue and white taking game one by a score of 4-1 behind a complete game by junior right hander Ricky Dennis. Saint Peter’s only recorded two hits and one run off of the 6’8” right hander, who struck out seven and walked none. The Hawks scored a run in the first on an RBI double by senior left fielder Dan Shea, driving in sophomore first baseman Shaine Hughes who walked and stole second.
Shea drove in three more runs in the sixth with a three-run home run, his fourth long ball of the season. Junior third baseman Grant Lamberton was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on Hughes’ single to right. That brought Shea to the plate, who lifted an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence giving the Hawks a 4-1 lead.
Saint Peter’s came back in the finale and won 8-7. MU had a 7-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but Saint Peter’s scored one in the seventh and four in the eighth to secure their first conference win of the season.
Senior left hander Anthony Ciavarella started for the Hawks, going six innings allowing three runs [one earned] on five hits and six strikeouts. Freshman right hander Jordan McCrum came on for the seventh and gave up one run on two hits.
Freshman right hander Joe Molettiere entered the game in the eighth and retired the first two batters in order. He then struck out senior right fielder Nick Cardamone, but the ball got passed freshman catcher Clay Koniencki and Cardamone reached first base safely on the passed ball. Back-to-back RBI triples knocked Molettiere out of the game with the Hawks up by one. Sophomore southpaw Mike Brambilla entered the game and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. Then sophomore catcher Mike Ionta doubled down the left field line plating both runners and giving Saint Peter’s the lead.
Koniencki went 3-5 with two doubles at the plate, driving in a run and scoring two. Shea homered to lead off the fifth, his fifth of the season.
MU won the first game of the series on Friday, Apr. 8 as the offense came alive late for 11 runs on 12 hits. The Hawks were trailing 5-1 entering the seventh inning, but MU went onto plate five runs in both in the seventh and ninth frames.
“I’m proud of the way we battled back today,” head coach Dean Ehehalt said. “It was a difficult day to play due to the conditions, but we manufactured runs late in the game. Joe Molettiere and Jordan McCrum were very effective out of the pen and kept us in striking distance.”
The Hawks took a 6-5 lead in the top of the seventh after Hughes tripled with the bases loaded, driving in three runs after one run previously scored on a throwing error. After Shea popped out, senior center fielder Cary Jacobson drove in Hughes and plated the final run of the inning.
Saint Peter’s tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, but MU scored five more in the ninth. Junior catcher Ryan Bailey, senior shortstop Robbie Alessandrine and sophomore second baseman Justin Trochiano all drove in runs in the inning, and senior outfielder Christian Holland stole home. McCrum recorded the final six outs to record his first colligate victory.
The Blue and White defeated the Princeton Tigers on the road on Tuesday, April 6 by a score of 7-3. Freshman right hander Tyler Ksiazek and went four innings, allowing two runs [one earned] on five hits while striking out five. Freshman southpaw Kyle Ajjan picked up his second colligate victory, hurling three shutout innings allowing one hit and striking out two. Brambilla recorded the final six outs to seal the win.
“It was not pretty but we got the win,” Ehehalt said. “Tyler Ksiazek didn’t have his best stuff but he battled, pitched out of some jams and gave us a chance to win. Kyle Ajjan threw well in the middle of the game and provided us an opportunity to relax and Mike Brambilla was able to close it out.”
The Hawks return to Long Branch Wednesday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m. followed by a three game weekend series against Siena.
The Saturday doubleheader from the MU Baseball Field begins at noon with Sunday’s game also set to begin at noon.