LAKEWOOD, N.J. – The Monmouth University baseball team got a strong start from Frank Trimarco (Merrick, N.Y./Sanford H. Calhoun) and led at points during the game, but Siena’s Andres Ortiz delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to give Siena the 6-5 win. Monmouth’s season ends after two MAAC Tournament wins with a record of 24-25, and the Saints advance to play Fairfield in the MAAC Tournament semifinals.
Trimarco hurled six plus innings, allowing four runs, three earned on seven hits. Stephen Frey (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) allowed a run on three hits in the seventh, and Jeff Paglione (Mantua, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) got the loss after allowing the game-winning run to score in the ninth. Ed Lewicki, Siena’s starter, also went six, surrendering five runs on seven hits. After Kyano Cummings tossed two scoreless frames, Neil Fryer got the win after a scoreless ninth.
John Rooney went 4-for-4 for the Saints, driving in two and scoring two more, and Vincent Citro added three hits and three runs scored. Ortiz totaled two knocks, including the game winner. Craig Sweeney (Middletown, N.J./Middletown South) and Kyle Perry (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) had two hits for MU, as did Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy), including a home run.
Rooney singled with one down in the ninth, and moved to second on Brian Fay’s sacrifice bunt. Ortiz took a 1-0 pitch to the gap in left center for a walk-off single to advance Siena to the semifinals and eliminate MU, which won two games yesterday to get to Saturday’s contest.
The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the 1st when, with runners at the corners, Rooney took off from first and Perry faked a throw to second. The ball slipped out of his hand and rolled towards the third base dugout, and Citro scored.
Monmouth got three back after Jon Guida (Martinsville, N.J./Bridgewater Raritan), and Perry replaced him at first on a fielder’s choice. Robbie Alessandrine (Sewell, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) was hit by a pitch, and Grant Lamberton (Newark, Del./Salesianum) walked to fill the bases. Steve Wilgus (Woolwich, N.J/Gloucester Catholic) lined a single into center to plate the first run, and Jake Gronsky (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) hit a long fly ball to the warning track in right to score the second run. A wild pitch brought home Lamberton home to give Monmouth a 3-1 advantage.
Rooney singled home a run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2, but MU got a pair back in the sixth. After Sweeney hit a one-out single, Avella blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall, his team-high fourth of the year. Swain pushed a single to second to plate a run for Siena in the last of the sixth to make it 5-3 Monmouth.
Siena tied the game in the seventh with Tyler Martis scoring on an error and Rooney singling home another run to knot things at five. Nobody got anything across until the ninth, when Ortiz won the game for Siena.
Monmouth ends its season at 24-25, with a pair of wins in MAAC Tournament play. Avella hit his 26th home run, and ends his career fourth all time.