Pioneers Lose NEC Opener 5-3 at Monmouth

(West Long Branch, NJ) – John Murphy (Seymour, CT) went 3-5 with a run and an RBI, but the Monmouth University Hawks beat the Sacred Heart Pioneers 5-3 in the first game of Northeast Conference Baseball play Friday afternoon.

After Ed Martin's two-run homerun to right gave Monmouth a 2-0 lead in the third, the Pioneers pushed a run across in each of the next three innings to take a 3-2 lead.  Hunter Phillips (Monroe, CT) put SHU on the board with an RBI groundout in the fourth, and Murphy tied it with an RBI single to right in the fourth.  In the fifth, the Pioneers pulled of a double steal to take the lead with two outs.  Phillips broke for home as Chris Whittemore (Lavellette, NJ) broke from first just before the Monmouth pitcher Nick Meyers came to his set.  As his attention caught Whittemore between first and second, Phillips raced home with the go-ahead run with a steal of home. 

However, Monmouth came back with three in the sixth to retake the lead for good.  An RBI single by Jamie Rosenkranz and a two-run double by Danny Avela game the Hawks a 5-3 lead.  Matt Frazier (two innings, one hit, no runs) and Andrew McGee (save, one innings, one hit, no runs) made win hold up for Meyers.

Chris Dionisio (Smithtown, NY) pitched two scoreless innings of relief, Whittemore collected two hits, and Steve Tedesco (Mission Viejo, CA) extended his hitting streak to nine games.

The Pioneers continue their four-game series with the Hawks with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m.