chris mckenna2

Baseball Can’t Snap Nine Game Losing Streak

chris mckenna2Monmouth University’s baseball team still looks for their first win of the season as they dropped a three game series to the East Carolina Pirates this past weekend. 

The team opened the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, falling 2-0 in game one and 9-0 in game two. 

The first game featured a pitching duel between senior Chris McKenna and ECU’s Evan Kruczynski. McKenna pitched a scoreless 7.1 innings in first game, but allowed two runs before he was replaced by senior TJ Hunt who finished the game. McKenna was able to hold ECU to nine hits while Kruczynski held the Hawks to two hits, striking out seven in the process. Senior first baseman Dave Moreno and sophomore outfielder Chris Gaetano were the only Hawks to hit off Kruczynski.

The second game of the doubleheader featured junior southpaw Frank Trimarco. Trimarco allowed six runs on seven hits in just one inning of work.

ECU’s Reid Love got to Trimarco early as he hit a home run in the lead off position. Back-to-back base hits put Eric Tyler and Bryce Harman on base for ECU. Batting clean up was Travis Watkins, who connected for an RBI single. Jackson Mims, Charlie Yorgen, and Garrett Brooks each contributed an RBI in the inning.

Head Coach Dean Ehehalt pulled Trimarco and replaced him with freshman Matt Littrell. In three innings, Littrell allowed three runs on six hits while striking out one batter. In relief for Littrell was freshman Justin Andrews, who recorded three scoreless innings. Sophomore Ricky Dennis was sent out for the final inning of the game. MU’s four pitchers allowed 15 hits while ECU’s pitching staff held the Hawks to three hits in the game.

The two teams met again on Sunday for the the final game of the series which featured another pitching duel between ECU’s David Lucroy and MU’s junior southpaw Anthony Ciavarella. There was no real action for either team until the bottom of the third when ECU hit back-to-back singles and then scored a run courtesy of a sacrifice fly.

MU scored their first run of the series in the top of the fourth. With bases loaded, Gaetano knocked in freshman Shaine Hughes.

The Hawks were able to pull ahead with two outs in the fifth when senior Steve Wilgus and

Hughes singled to put two runners on for senior Kyle Perry. Wilgus was able to score on a throwing error by Mims giving the Hawks a one run lead.

Two innings later, ECU secured their win with a two -run seventh inning. With one out and runners on second and third, Harman hit a sacrifice fly to knot the score at two a piece. Watkins then hit a single through the middle to give the game its final score of 3-2.

Ciavarella was given his third loss of the season. In 6.2 innings pitched, he allowed three runs, one of which was earned, off eight hits. He also surrendered four walks and struck out one batter. Hunt saw four batters to finish the game.

MU will travel to Virginia this weekend to face VCU on Friday, Minnesota on Saturday, JMU on Sunday, and VCU again on Tuesday.

They will return to the East Coast for a game against St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia, PA on Wednesday, March 18. 

The Hawks finish their spring break with a four game series against the Wagner Seahawks. The last time these teams faced each other, MU came out on the losing end.