Baseball Loses Series to Fairfield, 6-7 MAAC Record

After coming off a 10-0 win over Farleigh Dickinson on April 16, the baseball team lost their three game series to conference opponent, the Fairfield Stags, at Alumni Diamond in Fairfield, CT.

MU fell in the first game, 10-3, but initially held the upper hand after a three run first inning.

The first run was scored by freshman Grant Lamberton who, after hitting a double, was sent home by a double from Craig Sweeney. Senior Jake Gronsky was the next Hawk who crossed home, courtesy of senior Danny Avella who singled up the middle. The final run of the inning came off freshman Chris Gaetano’s sacrifice fly to bring in Sweeney from third.

MU held this three run advantage over the Stags until the fourth inning when Fairfield was able to plate two. Billy Zolga hit an RBI triple to center bringing home Jack Giannini from first and Rob LoPinto from third.

Fairfield evened the game at three in the fifth inning when Alex Witkus scored an unearned run on a passed ball.

One inning later, the Stags pulled ahead with a six run inning. Dean Sadik was the first to notch two RBI’s, plating Giannini from third and Zolga from second, off his single to left field.

Head coach Dean Ehehalt then pulled starting pitcher senior Andy McGee from the mound and replaced him with southpaw sophomore Frank Trimarco. McGee’s line ended at 5.1 innings pitched, with six earned runs on 10 hits. He was handed his fifth loss of the season.

Trimarco got his first opponent to ground out, but Ryan Plourde was able to make contact and singled down the left line to bring in Sadik and Sal Ciccone. Up next was Jake Salpietro, Fairfield’s cleanup batter. Salpietro, who leads his team in batting with a .331 average, knocked one over the left field wall for a two run home run. Trimarco finished the inning by getting LoPinto to strike out swinging.

The Hawks had the bases loaded in the eighth inning but were unable to produce a run.The Stags secured their seven run lead in the eighth when Salpietro hit an RBI double to right center.

The teams split the double header in day two of competition with the Stags winning the first game, 7-1, and the Hawks winning the second game, 2-0.

The Stags rattled junior right hander TJ Hunt early on with a one run first inning. Fairfield then furthered their lead by two in the third due to Salpietro’s triple to right center.

After an unsuccessful attempt to score in the second inning, Avella was able to put the blue and white on the board in the top of the fourth. Getting on base with a double to center, Avella then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Sophomore Connor White singled to plate Avella while junior Steve Wilgus grounded out to end the inning.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, Fairfield did not idly stand by, but instead tallied three more runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Stags final run came in the sixth as Sadik singled to right field to score Zolga.

With the loss, Hunt’s record fell to 3-5. He finished the day after four innings, six runs on eight hits, and three strikeouts.

MU was able to win the series finale behind the arm of junior right hander Chris McKenna.

McKenna threw seven frames in the shutout allowing five hits while striking out five. Senior southpaw Stephen Frey picked up his first save of the season. After Sunday’s game, McKenna ranks as the University’s top pitcher with a 3-3 record and a 2.62 ERA. Due to his performance, he was named College Sports Madness MAAC Player of the Week.

MU’s two runs came in the first when Avella’s double drove in Sweeney and in the seventh when senior Joe Bamford drew a walk to bring Lamberton home.

The Hawks’ record stands at 11-20 (6-7). They will next play Lafayette on Wednesday, April 23 at Easton, PA. The team has a 6-16 record on the road.