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Sunday, April 22, 2007

MU baseball update from SID Chris Tobin

Monmouth is 22-12-1 after its 4-1 week, after defeating St. Peter’s in non-conference play, while taking three of four from FDU over the weekend.

Junior Brad Brach, who threw two straight complete game victories, including a no-hitter, earned his third straight win on Friday against FDU. After his five Ks against the Knights, Brach now has 169 career strikeouts, 35 Ks behind No. 2 all-time (Joe Aragona, 204, 1995-1998 and Dan Severino, 204, 1997-2000). Brach now has 17 career wins, which ties him for fourth place in MU’s D-I history with Jim Carone, the 2002 NEC Pitcher of the Year. Mike Benfield (1998-2001) is the all-time leader with 20 wins.

Freshman Ryan Buch (Yardley, Pa./Conwell Egan) remained unbeaten, improving to 6-0 on the year, after his win over FDU on Saturday. The school-record for wins in a season is 10, set by Jim Carone in 2002, when the righty earned NEC Pitcher of the Year honors. Buch has 43 strikeouts on the season and currently leads the Hawks with his 2.11 ERA.

Monmouth has played six three-game series so far this season, and has won five of them, taking two-of-three from UCF, Wofford, Vermont, Liberty and Long Island. MU lost 2-of-3 at Navy, with the two losses coming with a 2-1 score.

Senior Kyle Messineo (Cedar Grove, N.J./Cedar Grove) is now 29-for-31 in stolen base attempts this season, giving him 58 swipes in his season-plus with the Hawks, which ranks him third in MU history, two behind Lance Koenig (2000-2003). Greg Landis (1998-2001) is the all-time leader in stolen bases with 90. Landis also holds the single-season stolen base record with 37 in 2001. Messineo, who had a career-high four swipes against Princeton, was 5-for-5 this week in his attempts. He is 58-for-63 in stolen bases.

Messineo, who ended last season with two triples, no home runs and 18 RBI, already has three triples, six homers and 30 RBI after 35 games in 2007. Messineo had no career home runs entering this season and has six round-trippers

Senior Frank Catalano (Manasquan, N.J./St. Rose) collected his first career RBI, with a pinch hit sac fly against FDU on Sunday.

Sophomore Mike Casale (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North), who batted .400 on the week, connected on a home run and was hit-by-a-pitch four times in one game, on Sunday versus FDU.

Senior Matt Coulson (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Boro) collected a career-high seven strikeouts in his win over FDU on Sunday. The lefty made two appearances on the week, and had 10 Ks and zero walks.

Meyers, Kyle Higgins (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills), Casale, Chris Collazo (Wall, N.J./Wall) and Brett Holland (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) have each already set new career for hits in a season.

Junior Andy Meyers (Stratford, N.J./Sterling) added eight RBI and now has 116 RBI in the Blue and White. The all-time leader in RBI in MU history is Joe McCullough, who drove in 187 runs from 1995-1998. Meyers connected on his fifth homer of the season on Sunday, giving him 15 for his career. Meyers now has 37 career doubles, which ties him for seventh all-time in MU history with Jeff Toth, Anthony Petrocelli and the 2006 NEC Player of the Year, Nick Massari.

Junior John Dennis (Union, N.J./Union) made his collegiate debut on the mound against St. Peter’s, throwing one full inning in relief, facing three batters, while striking out one.

Monmouth head coach Dean Ehehalt (366-372-2) who is in his 16th overall season, reached the 350-win plateau against Wofford. Ehehalt is now 345-334-2 in his 14th season at Monmouth.

Monmouth returns to action on Tuesday, when the Hawks travel to Rider at 3:30 p.m.

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