WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ- Monmouth Baseball scored five runs in the sixth inning and got strong pitching throughout the day to top in-state foe Princeton 8-4 Wednesday afternoon at MU Baseball Field. Freshman Brian Reiss (Watchung, NJ/Watchung Hills) earned his first career win in his first-ever start, and Clay Koniencki (Schwenksville, PA/Malvern Prep) led MU with three RBI’s.
Monmouth jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when John LaRocca (Plainview, NY/St. Dominic) plated one with an infield single before Koniencki lined a single to left to make it 2-0. Koniencki drew a bases loaded walk in the third to make it 3-0. MU pitching retired 10 in a row from the second through the fifth.
After Princeton got the score within 3-1 on Asher Lee-Tyson’s RBI single, Ben Hoffman (Berlin, NJ/Voorhees) came in and got a strikeout and a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. MU responded with five in the bottom of the frame, scoring on a bases loaded walk and two wild pitches in addition to a Shaine Hughes (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) run-scoring single and Koniencki’s RBI double.
Princeton plated three ninth-inning runs on three hits, including RBI base hits from Joseph Flynn and David Harding to cut it to 8-4 before MU retired the final two batters.
NOTES AND QUOTES “We capilatized on some opportunities that we needed to, we had a couple big hits and we strung together some good at bats by not over swinging in certain situations. Ben Hoffman’s inning was huge where he threw the double play ball up 3-1, and we talked to the guys the other day about winning games in a different fashion and solidifying the defense and I thought that was pretty evident today.” – head coach Dean Ehehalt
-Brian Reiss made his first career start for Monmouth, and registered his first career home appearance. -Reiss earned his first career win. -Austin Counsellor made his home debut and tossed two perfect innings. -Regan Dombroski fired a quick 1-2-3 fifth inning. -Ben Hoffman inherited two runners in the sixth and got a strikeout and 4-6-3 double play to end the frame. -MU has now won four in a row over Princeton. -Clay Koniencki was one of two Hawks with multiple hits, and drive in three of MU’s runs. -The 3-6 spots were responsible for driving in all six of Monmouth’s runs. -Princeton did not record an extra base hit until the ninth inning. -MU has scored in one of the first two innings in eight games in a row.
NUMBERS CRUNCH -Reiss fired two shutout innings in the start, allowing two hits and striking out one. -Counsellor needed just 20 pitches for his two innings. -Dombroski used just 10 pitches in his third inning. -Ryan Lillie struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. -Grant Lamberton scored three times.
UP NEXT -Monmouth continues MAAC play this weekend at Siena with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday at noon.