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Baseball Takes One of Three in Tough Series at William & Mary

Facing William & Mary three times in as many days, the Monmouth University men’s baseball team faced a spell of some tough luck.

A slow start by both teams in their March 24 outing saw a scoreless first inning, before William & Mary exploded for five runs in the second in front of their home crowd. Phil Stahl, who extended his hit streak to a season-long 18 games in the 8-3 loss, gave the Hawks some life with his first of two RBIs, with his single sending Will Trochiano home in the third inning. William & Mary would answer with another run in the bottom of the third, bringing their lead back to five and going up 6-1. Trochiano would score again in the fifth inning, this time off of an error from William & Mary.

An eighth inning two-run home run by the home team would squash Monmouth’s comeback hopes for good in this one. Despite the deficit, the Hawks played until the end, with Stahl batting in Skyler Saunders in the ninth inning for what would be the last scoring play in the 8-3 loss.

In their first rematch on March 25, Monmouth found themselves in a similar situation against William & Mary, but this time, it was their bats that came alive. Heading into the third inning down 5-1, the Hawks’ offense roared to life, scoring a whopping ten times before turning the keys back over to William & Mary.

Stahl had two singles in the inning, further extending his hit streak to 19 games. Up 11-7 going into the sixth, the Hawks added two more runs through Stahl and Mason Wolf to extend their lead to 13-7.

Before they could catch their breath, William & Mary put the heat right back under Monmouth, bringing themselves back within one at a score of 13-12 after a strong eighth inning. The Hawks had hoped that Casey Caufield’s insurance RBI would be enough to see out a victory, but the home team would make sure things came down to the wire. The Tribe threatened to not only tie the game, but fight for a massive comeback win after loading their bases at the bottom of the ninth. Back-to-back outs from Monmouth kept the hosts off of the scoresheet and ultimately secured the 14-12 win.

Reflecting on the close finish, Head Coach Dean Ehehalt said “We stuck together and got the W. [Ryan] Bearse came in, competed, and was able to close it out. The team has a lot of confidence in RB. Offensively we had the big third inning. The lineup had 10 productive AB’s in row and we cashed in with some big hits to score 10. We were able to score three runs late in the game, which made the difference on the scoreboard.” Monmouth would not be as fortunate to get timely runs in their third of three games against William & Mary, with their bats falling silent in the 7-1 loss on March 26.

The game was very much a defensive struggle, with the two squads combining for a meager 14 hits. Trochiano had his first ever multi-hit game as a Hawk, whilst Stahl extended his hitting streak to an eye-popping 20 games. Unfortunately, William & Mary were able to produce seven runs on their nine hits to put the game well out of reach for Monmouth. Conversely, one run and only five hits would not be enough for the Hawks to earn a win.

Coach Ehehalt echoed this sentiment, and remained mostly mum on the loss, saying “We were unable to generate any offense today. Helmstetter threw well out of the pen. Moving forward, on the defensive side we need to limit opponents’ opportunities.”

The Hawks’ bats will be back swinging again on Wednesday, March 29, when they travel to New York to take on Columbia at 3:00 p.m.