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Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12pm

Sports

Baseball Goes 1-2 in Home-Opening Weekend

Baseball 03.27.19Baseball opened up their home schedule in West Long Branch this past weekend, splitting a two-game series with Wagner before losing the second half of Sunday’s double-header to Seton Hall.

The home opener was over from the beginning, as sophomore pitcher Dan Klepchick got the start on the mound and could not miss the Wagner bats getting charged for 12 runs, 11 of which were earned, on 13 hits in 4.2 innings of work.

The scoring got going in the second inning when the Seahawks climbed to a 5-0 lead on five hits and an error from the Monmouth defense. They expanded upon their lead with three more runs in the third inning thanks to a pair of run-scoring doubles.

Junior catcher Zach Schild got the Hawks their first run at home this season in the bottom of the inning with an opposite field double to score one.

After Wagner tacked on another four runs thanks to a triple and double in the top half of the fifth, the Blue and White were able to cross home for their only other runs of the game, scoring three in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a trio of run-scoring walks.

“Early in the game we couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt. “They went up big early and we couldn’t make a play to keep the score down and then we had to fight back and were unable to do that.”

The one bright spot for Monmouth in the home opener was junior right-hander Chris Hawryluk who came in for relief of Klepchick in the fifth and threw 4.1 innings of unearned ball to stop the damage. This was the longest outing of Hawryluk’s collegiate career thus far despite the 4-13 final with MU on the losing end.

“Hawryluk had a great day, made the most of his opportunity and hopefully that can springboard him to some more meaningful innings down the road,” said Ehehalt.

Monmouth was able to bounce back strong in the series finale against Wagner on Sunday in the first half of their double-header with a 6-2 victory. They were led by freshman pitcher Rob Hensey’s first career win on the mound in six innings of work while only giving up one earned run and striking out five.

The Hawks got their first run across in the first when junior right fielder J.P. Walsh got on base and eventually scored thanks to Schild’s heads up base running.

MU kept the bats rolling, stretching a run across in each of the first three innings to give them a 3-0 lead after three. It was senior second baseman Max Goione who singled in the Hawks’ second run while fellow junior third baseman Johnny Zega drove in the third run on a sacrifice fly.

“We certainly made the most of our opportunities early in the game by manufacturing runs,” said Ehehalt. “That’s been something that we’ve talked about a bunch and it was nice to see us score in four of the first five innings.”

After Wagner pushed their first run across in the fifth, Monmouth retaliated with two of their own in the inning thanks to RBIs from Schild and fifth year designated hitter J.D. Andreessen to make the score 5-2.

Sophomore pitcher Ryan Steckline closed out Monmouth’s sixth victory of the year with three one run innings of work to gain his second save of the year while striking out three in the 6-2 final.

The second half of the double-header was less resounding, as Monmouth suffered a 12-2 defeat at the hands of visiting Seton Hall.

Sophomore second baseman Brandon Taylor hit back-to-back doubles with junior shortstop Danny Long to push across one of Monmouth’s only runs of the game in the second.

“It was nice to see Danny Long starting to swing the bat well, but we took a good game in the middle there, let the leadoff guy on and made an error to open the floodgates.” said Ehehalt.

The now 7-13-1 Hawks will travel to Saint Peter’s this weekend for a three game set with the Peacocks beginning on Saturday afternoon.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics

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