Sports

Baseball Extends Winning Streak to Eleven Games

BaseballMen’s baseball is coming off a weekend that featured four contests that all resulted in victories against Siena on Monmouth’s home turf.

Monmouth competed against Siena on doubleheaders on both Friday and Saturday and, out of the four games, outscored their opponent 26-1.

On Friday, the Hawks’ arms were lights out as they retired 24 batters via the punch out while only walking two. Senior right-handed pitcher Dan Klepchick threw a gem as he tossed a complete game shutout while only giving up three hits, earning his second win of the campaign.

The bats gave their starter run support early as they tallied five runs in the bottom of the first inning, batting around the order. The first run was scored on an error but the hitting barrage started with sophomore pitcher Alex Barker lining a double to opposite field. Freshman infielder Dixon Black and fifth year catcher Zach Schild tacked on base hits of their own to extend the blue and white lead to 4-0. Black would later come around to score on a wild pitch to make it a 5-0 before the end of the first inning. The Hawks would go on to win this one 6-0 after scoring on an error in the fifth inning.

Part two of Friday’s doubleheader was more of the same with dominant pitching. This time, left-handed senior Trey Dombroski got the nod for the start and threw five shutout innings while sitting down ten batters by strikeout. Senior left-handed pitcher Ryan Steckline also had the punch out working for him as he struck out five batters in only two innings of relief.

The Hawks were held silent offensively up until the fifth inning, when senior outfielder Jake Catalano hit an RBI single up the middle to break the 0-0 tie. Sophomore infielder Harry Paden followed with a two-run single, widening the lead to 3-0. In the seventh inning, Barker hit his second home run of the season to put a nail in the coffin and sweep the first out of two doubleheaders.

Monmouth outhit Siena 10-3 in the first game and 10-6 in the second. Taking this series marks the Hawks’ ninth straight victory.

“Great day for our team,” said head coach Dean Ehehalt. “In game one we jumped out to an early lead and game two we manufactured a few on the back end of a good pitcher’s duel.”

In game three of this four-game weekend series between Monmouth and Siena, the Hawks earned not only their tenth win in a row, but also their fourth straight shutout. Junior left-handed pitcher Rob Hensey started this game for the Hawks and pitched six innings while only giving up four hits.

All of Hensey’s run support came in the second inning when Barker connected for a solo shot to lead off the inning. Black then registered a single and soon after swiped second base to put himself in scoring position. Catalano would come up with a two-out base knock extending the Hawks lead to 2-0, which was enough to secure them the win.

The final game of the series saw Siena score their lone run of the weekend. However, they were overshadowed by the offensive showcase put on by the blue and white tallying 11 hits and 13 runs.

The biggest inning for the blue and white came in the third. The Hawks sent a total of 14 batters to the plate in the inning and registered eight runs on the same amount of hits marking the biggest inning for the Hawks this season. Eight different batters had a hit in the second game.

After sweeping Siena this past weekend, the Hawks now have won 11 straight games, which is now the fourth longest win streak in the school’s Division I history. The 2008 team currently holds the record with 15 wins.

The Hawks will try to add to their historic run on Wednesday, April 7, when they face off against Rider in a doubleheader at home.

 

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics