Last updateWed, 14 Apr 2021 11am


Volume 88 (Fall 2016) and Volume 89 (Spring 2017)

Forever Royal | John Sorce’s Senior Goodbye

4.19.17 J S 1Ever since I realized I wasn’t going to play Major League Baseball, I knew I wanted to write about it. I still love the game as much as I did when I was five years old, when I began playing Little League with my dad as the coach. When I tell people baseball is my life, I mean that. That’s why they call me Johnny Baseball.

I grew up watching a lot of losing as a Kansas City Royals fan over the years. But then 2014 and 2015 happened, and I felt like I was living in a dream. I could go on about this forever, but I will spare you those details. Just know that 10-year-old me became a fan of a team that lost 106 games in 2005 because I liked the stadium and uniforms, and I wanted a team I could call my own. I finally made it out to Kauffman Stadium in 2007 and saw them get destroyed by the Cleveland Indians twice, but I loved it. I knew the Royals were my team, and Kansas City will hopefully someday be my home.

4.19.17 J S 1

I came here after honing my craft at Brookdale for three years. I enjoyed my time there, and it flew by. I know they miss me because no student covered their sports before I got there, or after I left. I like to go back and help out whenever I can. When my time there was nearing its end, I realized two years at Monmouth would go by even faster.

I knew for a while I was coming to Monmouth after Brookdale. I wanted to come here out of high school, but going there first was the right choice for me. Because of this, I followed Monmouth Athletics while I was at Brookdale in anticipation of covering them when I transferred here.

I remember watching the first Monmouth football game of the 2015 season on ESPN3 because I wanted to watch it as a fan. I ultimately decided to write a game story and submit it to The Outlook as a sample of my writing. I walked into the office my first day as a Monmouth student and, if my memory serves me correctly, I gave it to the only person that was in the room: Danielle (more on her in a little bit).

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Men’s Lacrosse Wins Program Record Seventh Straight

MLAX Wins 7th StraightThe men’s lacrosse team continued their winning ways this past week with two victories. Monmouth’s first win was against Virginia Military Institute (VMI) on Monday, April 10. Their second victory took place against Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI on Saturday, April 15.

The Hawk’s set the tone early against VMI, scoring twice within the opening 30 seconds en route to a 15-8 win. Credit goes to freshman midfielder Justin Schwenk for the first goal and junior midfielder Chandler Vanderbeek for the second. From there the Hawks would score four more unanswered goals to put themselves up 6-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Monmouth added four more goals to VMI’s one before the half was up and cruised into half with a comfortable 10-1 lead.  The Keydets, however, did not go down without making the game a little interesting. VMI chipped away at the lead over the course of the third quarter by scoring five goals to Monmouth’s three to make it a 13-6 contest.

The Hawks quickly reestablished a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter by netting two goals to build their lead to nine. VMI would score the final two goals of the game but at that point it was too little too late. When the clock expired it was the Hawks who came away with the 15-8 win.

“There are a lot of names I can rattle off that played really well, even in limited time,” Head Coach Brian Fisher said after the game. “It was good to hold them to a low score in the first half which gave us the opportunity to play some more guys. The focus in which we had got us off to a good start and getting more guys in there made it a fun game.”

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Morgan Balderas and Alex Holzman: From Kansas to the Jersey Shore

Morgan Balderas Alex Holzman 1One glance at the softball roster and you will notice a lot of student-athletes from the tri-state area and California. Fourteen of the 17 players come from New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or California. One player is from Illinois and the other two are from…Kansas?

Junior infielders Morgan Balderas and Alex Holzman are in their first season in West Long Branch after successful junior college careers some 1,400 miles west. Balderas transferred from Highland Community College in Highland, Kansas, while Holzman came from Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kansas. The two grew up together in Wichita, Kansas and played at high schools that were seven miles apart.

Head Coach Shannon Salsburg found out about Balderas through Emma Hill, who played for the Hawks from 2015-16 after coming from the same junior college. “Emma told me about Morgan and Morgan told me about Alex,” Salsburg said. “I watched both play thanks to live streams like ESPN3 pretty much every day after practice last year. I was watching their style of play; they seemed to be kids that were always in the middle of good things that happened for their team. They always played hard and never jogged or took any plays off. As I got on the phone with them I found out who they were and what was important to them. I felt that they would be a good fit.”

Both girls arrive in West Long Branch already having accumulated many accolades in their colligate careers. Balderas was an All-Conference, All-Region and All-America honoree at Highland Community College. She earned the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Marucci Elite Hitter Award for District E, which is awarded to the player with the highest batting average in the district, after hitting .428 as a sophomore. She also set the program single-season home run record as a freshman with 22 before becoming the all-time leader with 37.

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Men’s Golf Confident Heading Into MAAC Championship

MG Heading into MAAC ChampionshipThe men’s golf team is coming off their best tournament to date in the spring season, a fourth-place finish in the Peacock Invitational. The 18-hole tournament took place on Tuesday, April 11 at the Par-72, 7069-yard Neshanic Valley Golf Course in Neshanic Valley.

“We’ve had a tough spring so far in terms of weather conditions and every time you go to a tournament, you are looking to improve and that’s what we’ve done,” Head Coach Dennis Shea said. “The weather was more conducive to playing golf and the guys stepped up. We’ve had some more practice sessions which gave the guys a chance to get their game in shape. It was nice to see the six guys that we took up there all break 80 and three of them finished one over par, which was a step in the right direction.”

“It was definitely a good event for us,” senior Tommy Whelan said. “We finally broke 300 as a team, which is something that we are going to have to do down in Florida [at the conference championship]. It was good to build some momentum. We’ve been working really hard and I think some guys are starting to see some of the results they have been looking for.”

It was the first time all season that all six Hawks scored in the 70s and their 299 score was their second best round of the season. The team shot 298 in the first round of the Mathews Auto Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 2. The blue and white were just two points off the pace for second, as Rider carded 297 and Fairfield posted 298. Saint Peter’s won the event with a score of 292.

Monmouth was led by a trio of players who finished tied for fourth individually in Whelan and freshmen Andy Stock and Nick Maff, who all carded one over par at 73.

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Baseball Drops Two of Three to Marist

B Drop Two out Three to MaristThe baseball team dropped their first two home games of the season as they lost two out of three in a weekend series against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opponent Marist at MU Baseball Field.

Monmouth defeated Marist 7-2 in the first game on Friday, April 14 after a five run eighth inning to break the 2-2 tie. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan McCrum pitched a gem, throwing 6⅔ innings, allowing no earned runs (one unearned) on a career-high seven strikeouts.

“[Jordan] was great. He got us this one win this weekend based on how he played,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt. “We didn’t help him out on defense and he held those guys at bay the whole game. We were fortunate to get an outing like that out of him.”

Marist and Monmouth got on the board quick, with Marist scoring one on the top half of the first on a Monmouth fielding error. The Hawks countered with two walks to senior infielders Grant Lamberton and Shaine Hughes to lead off the bottom of the first. Senior outfielder Dan Shea drove in Lamberton with a single. Junior designated hitter Pete Papcun followed up with a sacrifice fly to bring in Hughes and give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.

McCrum left the game with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh, but senior right-handed pitcher Ben Hoffman would get the ground out to end the inning to save the lead for Monmouth. Marist ended up tying the game in the eighth after a single, an MU throwing error, and a single to make it 2-2.

In the bottom of the eighth, after two lead-off walks, junior infielder Justin Trochiano laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line which was thrown into right field, allowing both runners to score. Lamberton then drove in a run with a single, followed by Papcun driving in two with a single to left, extending the lead to 7-2.

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Sidelines: 4-19-17

Softball: The softball team split weekend conference series with Fairfield and Iona over the weekend. On Friday, April 14, they lost the first game, 1-0 in 13 innings. Junior pitcher Amanda Riley threw all 13 innings and struck out 16 batters on four hits.

In the second game, Monmouth won 5-1. Junior catcher Alex Holzman and senior first baseman Justene Reyes drove in all five runs and both homered in the contest. Senior pitcher Sydney Underhill picked up the win throwing a complete game, striking out six.

On Saturday, April 15, the Hawks won the first game against Iona in a 5-0 shutout. Reyes launched her sixth home run of the season and Holzman drove in two with a double. Riley threw the complete game shutout, striking out seven and allowing four hits. Monmouth got no-hit by Iona’s Alana Evans in the second game as the blue and white fell 4-0.

The Hawks are now 14-22 overall and 6-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). They return to action on Saturday, April 22 when they welcome Niagara to West Long Branch for a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Upcoming Games: 4-19-17

Wednesday, April 19

M Tennis vs. Ramapo

West Long Branch, NJ 10:30 a.m.


M Tennis vs. Rider*

West Long Branch, NJ 3:00 p.m.


W Lacrosse vs. Manhattan*

West Long Branch, NJ 3:00 p.m.


W Tennis at Wagner

Staten Island, NY 3:00 p.m.


Baseball vs. Lafayette

West Long Branch, NJ 3:30 p.m.


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Track Competes in Colonial Relays, Stockton Invite

Track Colonial Relays Stockton InviteThe men’s and women’s track teams have had a successful start to their outdoor season.

They began with the Monmouth Season Opener, which was held on campus from Mar. 24-25. Both teams won the event, with the men totaling 335.5 points. This was 215.5 points higher than the next closest team, as Rider finished second with a score of 120. The women scored 266 points, 104 more than second place Sacred Heart.

With ongoing construction of Monmouth Stadium, Head Coach Joe Compagni noted Georgian Court hosted the long throws on March 24 to open the event. He was glad teams did not shy away from competing and was able to keep the tradition.

“I really wanted to keep the meet going,” Compagni said. “This was the 22nd annual and I think it was a great opportunity for our folks at home. I wasn’t sure what the turnout would be having the meet at two locations and the construction, but we still had 25 teams here.”

Both teams had strong showings at the Stockton Invite and the Colonial Relays, which took place from March 30-April 1. The throwers went to Galloway, while the runners ran in Williamsburg, VA.

“At our home meet, we were fortunate that the conditions were pretty good,” Compagni said. “What we saw at both Colonial and Stockton was the conditions are not always going to be good. That creates some challenges but the event is the event and the conditions are going to be the same for everyone. Managing those conditions is a big part of being successful outdoors. Some of our folks did that very well and others learned how they’re going to need to improve at that.”

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Women’s Lacrosse Falls to Fairfield, Canisius

WLAX Fall to Fairfield CanisiusThe women’s lacrosse team failed to achieve a win this week, dropping contests to Fairfield University on Wednesday, April 5 and Canisius College on Saturday, April 8.

Wednesday’s matchup ended a two game winning streak for the Hawks as they fell 13-5 to Fairfield in Connecticut. The Stags broke open scoring but that goal was quickly answered by junior midfielder Caroline Corbliss, assisted by senior midfielder Claudia LaMarca.

That would be the extent of scoring for the Hawks for a substantial amount of time. The Stags went to work crafting a five goal run over the remainder of the half to put themselves up 6-1. Fairfield continued to pad that lead early in the second half, tallying another goal at the 28:31 mark, giving themselves a six goal advantage.

Monmouth flashed some life at this point by netting two goals within two minutes. The goals came courtesy of LaMarca and freshman attacker Nicole Ceraso. However, the Stags quickly stamped out any chance of a comeback by stringing together five unanswered goals to make the score 12-3 with about 10 minutes to go.

The Hawks salvaged two more goals before the end. Those goals came from senior attacker Carly Sane and Corbliss, who scored her second of the game. However, the game was never in question as they Hawks overall struggled in all aspects.

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Baseball Drops Conference Series to Siena

Baseball Drop Conference to SienaAfter defeating Princeton in a non-conference game on Wednesday, April 5, the baseball team resumed Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play against Siena over the weekend in Loudonville, NY and split a Saturday doubleheader before dropping the series finale on Sunday.

Monmouth’s lone win of the weekend came in the second game, when sophomore left-hander Kyle Ajjan fired a complete game, two-hit shutout, leading the Hawks to an 11-0 victory. He walked three batters and struck out seven on 96 pitches, 62 strikes. He was named MAAC Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday.

“Kyle was real good today. He really competed well. Offensively we were able to score early, which I thought was very important,” Head Coach Dean Ehehalt said. “Our two out RBI (runs batted in) were huge and getting [senior outfielder Dan] Shea back allowed us to shape the lineup as well. I was real happy for [senior right fielder Chris] Gaetano and his five RBI. He provided us with a big lift.”

The blue and white scored in five of seven innings beginning in the second, when two runs crossed the plate on an error. With two out in the third, senior outfielder Tom Jakubowski and sophomore catcher Clay Koniencki walked, which set up a two-run double down the right field line by Gaetano to make it 4-0 MU.

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Softball Takes Two from Quinnipiac

Softball Takes Two From QuinnipiacAfter splitting a pair of games on Wednesday, April 5 to Wagner and Saturday, April 8 to Rider, the softball team swept a doubleheader from Quinnipiac on Sunday, April 9.

The Hawks won both games against Quinnipiac 2-1 thanks to senior infielder Rachel Shotzbarger’s two-RBI double during the sixth inning of game one and a two-run home run during the sixth inning of game two.

“I had just been really locked in all day, and I was seeing the ball well so I was ready to hit.” said Shotzbarger after the second game on Sunday.

In game one, junior right-handed pitcher Amanda Riley finished the game with a complete game three hitter in the win allowing only one run. She struck out eight batters and threw 101 pitches, 69 of which were strikes. In game two, senior left-handed pitcher Sydney Underhill tossed a complete game, allowing only five hits and one earned run in the win. She struck out five and threw 98 pitches, 61 strikes.

“It took us a little bit to get on the board, and that’s a credit to both of their pitchers. But we stayed aggressive and were trying to make things happen.” said Head Coach Shannon Salsburg. “[Shotzbarger] had a great day yesterday and came up huge today. It’s fun to see her locked in. Everyday matters in the MAAC and to get off the split train is fantastic. I’m proud of our players; we pitched well, played defense and hit the ball, so it was great.”

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151