LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Junior Jeff Singer (Riverton, N.J./Gloucester C.C. [Holy Cross]) threw a complete game gem to lead the fifth-seeded Monmouth University baseball team to a 5-2 victory over fourth-seeded Quinnipiac, Friday afternoon at FirstEnergy Park. The Hawks (24-24), who scored five runs over the first three innings, advance to take on Siena at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night in an elimination game. The loss ends the QU season at 18-31.
Singer hurled his first complete game in a Monmouth uniform, scattering five hits which yielded two runs, one earned, while fanning a season-best six batters. Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) and Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) each recorded three hits, while Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) drove in a pair of runs.
The Hawks jumped out of the gate in the first, plating three runs on a pair of hits. Grant Lamberton (Newark, Del./Salesianum) worked a leadoff walk off Quinnipiac’s starter Nick Fabrizio and advanced to third on a single through the right side by Wilgus, who stole second to move into scoring position. Jake Gronsky (Danville, N.J./Danville Area) continued his strong hitting at the plate by delivering a single to center to plate the game’s first run. Gronsky stole second before a wild pitch allowed him to move to third and Wilgus to score. Avella followed with a sacrifice fly to left to cap off the three-run first.
Quinnipiac took advantage of a pair of Monmouth fielding miscues in its half of the first, as Matthew Batten, who singled with one out in the frame, reached second due to a throwing error by Singer. Vincent Guglietti lofted a pitch down the left field line which was mishandled by Joe Bamford (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional [Northampton C.C.]) allowing Batten to score the Bobcats’ first run of the afternoon.
Back-to-back singles by Wilgus and Gronsky started the third inning for the Blue and White. Following Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) going down on strikes, Avella pulled a ball between first and second with the runners in motion. Quinnipiac’s second baseman Ryan Nelson retreated towards the hole, dove and collected the ball. While lying on his back, Nelson attempted to retire Avella at first but his throw went high which allowed both Wilgus and Gronsky to score with ease, pushing MU ahead, 5-1.
Mike Blumenthal singled to start the home half of the fifth, moved to second on a free pass by Brian Ruditys and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Palladino. Batten then skied a ball to right field which scored Blumenthal to bring QU within three, 5-2.
Fabrizio gets tagged with the loss for QU, allowing five runs on nine hits.
Monmouth, which has already played 15 innings so far on Friday, will take on the Saints in its second full contest of the day, with first pitch slated for 9:10 p.m.