Mon09162019

Last updateWed, 11 Sep 2019 12pm

Sports

Baseball Gets Swept by Marist Despite Close Games

BBBaseball battled all weekend long despite coming up with the short end of the stick, getting swept in a three-game series at home against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opponent Marist.

The series began with a double-header on Saturday as the Hawks sent sophomore Dan Klepchick to the mound for the first game where he went 6.2 innings allowing nine hits and five earned runs while striking out five.

The Blue and White were the first team to get on the scoreboard however thanks to a first inning run-scoring single by senior designated hitter Clay Koniencki who went 3-3 in the game with two RBIs and three walks.

The Red Foxes bounced back strong with four runs combined in the third, fourth, and fifth innings turning a one run deficit into a three run, 4-1 advantage.

Monmouth continued to claw back as their hottest bat all season long, junior catcher Zach Schild drove in their second run in the fifth on a single to right field.

The Hawks then rallied back to score three runs in the seventh to tie the game at five a piece. Junior right fielder JP Walsh led the charge with an RBI double to left field scoring one, and then both Schild and Koniencki followed him up by putting the ball in play to drive in crucial runs.

Nine innings were not enough to decide the series opener as it would take eleven innings thanks to stellar relief pitching from freshman Mason Miller and junior Regan Dombroski. Marist finally pushed the eventual game-winning run across in the top half of the eleventh resulting in a 6-5 final.

“The first game was a typical grind it out MAAC game,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt. “We battled to the last out.”

Game two was not nearly as close as Marist seemed to have this one wrapped up from the first pitch after they pushed two runs across in the top half of the first.

Freshman Rob Hensey got the nod in the late game but was only able to make it through three innings while allowing three earned runs, three walks, and striking out five to drop the loss.

The Hawks pushed their only run across in the third on an RBI double to left from sophomore second baseman Matt Graber.

Freshman Nick Houghton came in for relief of Hensey in the fourth and went four total innings allowing three earned runs while walking two and striking out two.

The Blue and White failed to generate any more offense ultimately resulting in the 6-1 final.

“In the second game of the double-header we fell behind early and were unable get back in it,” said Ehehalt. “We need to bounce back.”

The Hawks hoped for different results on Sunday afternoon in the series finale as they sent the senior James Kelly to the bump in need of salvaging the conference series.

Kelly went five innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking three batters. He certainly gave Monmouth a shot with his solid outing despite giving up a solo homer in the first.

The Hawks’ bats got going in the third and fourth as well, tallying three runs on key at-bats from junior shortstop Danny Long and sophomore third baseman Brandon TaylorTaylor who doubled down the line to score a run making it a 3-1 lead.

Marist bounced back in the fifth to tie the game up at three and eventually broke open the tie in the ninth giving them the 4-3 victory in the finale and a series sweep.

“Definitely a tough one today,” said Ehehalt. “Moving forward we will be tested and just need to keep playing.”

The now 11-17-1 Hawks, who are 2-4 in conference play, will travel to Penn today for a non-conference matchup with the Quakers at 3:00 p.m. in Philadelphia, PA.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics

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