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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Monmouth U baseball upends Seton Hall/from the MU web site - and softball l defeats Rutgers

Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Junior Andy Meyers’ (Stratford, N.J./Sterling) RBI single in the bottom of the eighth proved to be the game-winning hit, as the Monmouth University baseball team defeated Seton Hall, 8-7, on Wednesday afternoon. The win improves the Hawks to 23-13-1, while the Pirates fall to 19-20.

The Pirates rallied from four runs down to tie the score at 7-7 in the top of the eighth, before Monmouth notched the game-winning run on Meyers’ single through the right side, with the infield playing in. Meyers drove in Kyle Messineo (Cedar Grove, N.J./Cedar Grove), who led off the eighth with a single, his third hit of the contest.

Justin Esposito (Red Bank, N.J./Middletown North), who entered the game in the eighth and was touched up for two runs, including the game-tying run, on four hits, pitched out of a first and third situation, with one out in the ninth. With runners on first and third, Esposito struck out leadoff hitter, Matt Smedberg, before pinch-hitter Dan McDonald laced a shot at shortstop Kyle Higgins (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills) to end the game.

Monmouth took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, tallying two unearned runs off Seton Hall starter Keith Cantwell. A throwing error with Rick Niederhaus (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) and Chris Collazo (Wall, N.J./Wall) on second and third, allowed both runs to cross home.

The Hawks went ahead 3-0 in the third frame, as Niederhaus drove in Higgins, on a fielder’s choice groundout.

Seton Hall pulled within 3-2 in the fifth, as the Pirates’ Chris Affinito and Greg Miller hit back-to-back solo home runs off Monmouth starter Nick Vallillo (Old Tappan, N.J./Northern Valley Regional).

Monmouth pushed the lead to 4-2 in the home half of the fifth when Mike Casale (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) was hit-by-a-pitch with bases loaded. The Pirates tallied a single run in the sixth, when Smedberg delivered an RBI single up the middle, making the score 4-3.

The Blue and White inflated the lead to 7-3 in the seventh inning, when a failed pickoff attempt at first allowed Higgins to score, Niederhaus collected an RBI single through the left side of the infield and John Elia (Hillsdale, N.J./Pascack Valley) lifted a sacrifice fly.

Esposito (3-1) picked up the win for the Hawks, working 2.0 innings, with two strikeouts. Vallillo, who collected a career-high five strikeouts, went 6.0 frames, scattering seven hits, while allowing three scores. Matt Frazier (Whippany, N.J./Whippany Park) worked 1.0 inning of middle relief, allowing two runs on one hit.

Miller was saddled with the loss for Seton Hall, surrendering the game-winning run in the eighth. Cantwell worked 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, while striking out six.

Messineo went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the leadoff spot for the Hawks, while Higgins, Meyers and Niederhaus each collected two hits apiece.

Monmouth returns to action on Friday, when the Hawks take on Central Connecticut State at 3 p.m., in game one of a four-game NEC series.


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