MONMOUTH BASEBALL CLOSES REGULAR SEASON WITH SPLIT VS. IONA
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Monmouth Baseball shutout Iona in the opener of the doubleheader to take the first two games of the series before falling in the second game Friday, 6-5. Monmouth concludes the regular season with a record of 20-28 and will not qualify for the 2017 MAAC Tournament.
Joe Molettiere (Sellersville, PA/Pennridge) fired six two-hit shutout innings in the opener before Danny Long (Sellersville, PA/Pennridge) made his second appearance of the season on the mound to earn his first collegiate save as MU topped Iona 2-0. Zach Schild (Lincroft, NJ/Middletown South) drove in both runs for MU, the first coming in the third on a hard-hit ball back through the middle. MU added on in the fifth when Schild dropped down a perfect squeeze bunt to make it 2-0, the eventual final.
The Hawks fell behind 2-0 in the nightcap when Brian Picone lifted a sacrifice fly and Fran Kinsey singled home a run in the second. MU answered with four in the third, sparked by Schild's third RBI of the day with a double to the wall in right center. Shaine Hughes (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) singled the other way to bring in Schild and tie the game before Dan Shea (Wilmington, DE/Salesianum) launched a two-run home run to right to make it 4-2 Hawks.
Iona plated a pair immediately to tie it at four, getting RBI hits from Jon Budesa as well as Kinsey. Chris Gaetano put the Blue and White back in front in the bottom of the fourth, stealing third and scoring on an overthrow but Kinsey's two-run single in the sixth proved to be the difference in the 6-5 Iona win.
NOTES AND QUOTES
“Joe Molettiere was excellent today. We were facing a must-win situation right from the start of Game One and Joe took us into somewhat of cruise control, he was really good and made some big pitches. He came in last week and said he wanted the ball so you tip your hat to him. He put us in position to play for something.” – head coach Dean Ehehalt on Molettiere's opening game performance
“It's certainly not how we wanted to go out, and they've had some good careers. There's some really significant individual accomplishments within this senior class. Academically they're all excellent students and they've beaten some flagship programs in their career here so they have that to look back on. Hopefully they can look at the victories and relish them as positives, and look at some of the things we fell short with and learn from them and be better men as they move forward into their adult life and get jobs and become husbands and fathers.” – Ehehalt on the 2017 senior class
-Monmouth concludes the season 20-28, 11-13 in MAAC play.
-The Hawks miss the conference tournament for the first time since 2006.
-The last time MU missed a conference tournament, they won it the following season (2007).
-Danny Long fanned two in a perfect ninth inning, picking up his first collegiate save.
-Zach Schild had three hits and three RBI's on the day, and was the only Hawk to drive in runs in the opening game.
-Monmouth wins its third MAAC series of the year, taking two of three from Iona.
-Justin Andrews finishes his career fourth in school history with 14 saves.
-Tom Jakubowski finishes his lone season in a Monmouth uniform with nine home runs, the most for a Hawk since 2011, and 16 steals, most since 2009.
-Dan Shea concludes his career with 34 doubles, 17th most for a Hawk, and 136 RBI's, eighth all-time.
-Grant Lamberton concludes his career with 184 total hits.
-Monmouth's 11 seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony.
-Joe Molettiere tossed six shutout innings in the first game, striking out five.
-Today's games conclude Monmouth's 2017 season. MAAC postseason awards will be announced next Tuesday evening.