Sports

Baseball Dominates Saint Peter's in Conference Opener

Baseball 04.03.19Baseball opened up Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play in spectacular fashion, taking two of three against Saint Peter’s while outscoring them 45-8 in the series on the road at Joseph J. Jaroschak Field.

The Hawks opened the floodgates right off the bat in Saturday’s double header with fifth year left fielder JD Andreessen clobbering a two-run homerun to left in the top half of the first to open the day’s scoring. This was the first of three homers on the day for him, as Andreessen also went yard in the top half of the ninth on a solo shot. He was later named MAAC Player of the Week for his performances.

The Blue and White tacked on two more runs in the first when freshman first baseman Robbie Holmes doubled to right field, driving in two runs to stretch the early lead to 4-0.

Senior designated hitter Clay Koniencki kept the lineup rolling in the third when he launched his first homerun of the season over the left field fence.

After Saint Peter’s pushed one across in the bottom half of the third, sophomore pitcher Dan Klepchick and the MU bats made sure that they would not get any closer with pure domination the rest of the way.

The Hawks would go on to score 22 consecutive runs in the following six innings to reach a final score of 27-1 in the first half of the double header.

The offense received a huge lift from one of their top bats, junior catcher Zach Schild, who went four for six in the game with four runs batted in and three runs scored.

“We really swung the bats well today,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt. “We wanted to score first and we did, Zach [Schild] had a two strike, two-out hit in the first and then JD followed with a home run which gave us a boost immediately.”

Other top performers in game one included junior right fielder J.P. Walsh who went four for six with a game-high seven RBIs and four runs scored including a grand slam in the top half of the ninth. This was the fourth home run of the game for the Hawks, who scored the most runs in a single game since 2006 when they had 35 against Temple.

Fifth year center fielder Kyle Norman also went three for six with a pair of doubles, three RBIs, and three runs scored.

“From top to bottom, we really swung it and had a bunch of good at bats,” said Ehehalt. “Everyone contributed in some way.”

MU followed up their best MAAC performance of all-time with nearly just as impressive of an effort in the second game, winning by a final score of 18-4.

Freshman pitcher Rob Hensey picked up his second career win going four innings on the mound and giving up four runs while striking out nine.

It was junior third baseman Johnny Zega who got the bats going in game two with a first inning double to drive in two making it 2-0.

The Hawks added five more in the second on doubles from sophomore infielder Matt Graber and Norman, before Andreessen smacked his third homer of the day making it 7-0 after two.

Saint Peter’s was able to push some runs across in the fourth inning bringing the deficit to four, however that was all as Monmouth shut them down the rest of the way while staying red-hot offensively.

“We got the lead early and did a nice job of answering back when the lead was cut to 8-4,” said Ehehalt.

Both Koniencki and Graber both cleared the fence in the innings that followed while a collection of other baserunners resulted in a final victory of 18-4 for the Blue and White.

The Hawks’ bats cooled off in the series finale however, as they could not find home plate losing by a score of 0-3 while handing Saint Peter’s their first win of the season (1-20).

Monmouth will now head home with a record of 10-14-1 to face Princeton on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics