Baseball Drops 5-1 Decision to Monmouth
April 9, 2008
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - The Lafayette baseball team suffered a 5-1 setback to Monmouth on Wednesday afternoon in West Long Branch, N.J. Despite out-hitting the Hawks by a 9-6 margin, five Leopard miscues in the field led to four unearned runs and a win for Monmouth, snapping Lafayette's three game win streak.
Ryan Roberts and Tom Hayes had two hits apiece for the Leopards but the team could manage only one unearned run off of Monmouth starting pitcher Kyle Breese, who pitched six innings. Lafayette starter Ryan Hanna went five innings and also gave up just one unearned run. Sophomore reliever Tyler Chromey surrendered three unearned runs in his 0.2 innings of work and Jason Morytko allowed the Hawks' final run of the afternoon in the seventh inning.
Hanna, making his first start since March 25, walked the second batter of the game and two Lafayette throwing errors gave Monmouth an early 1-0 lead without the benefit of a hit.
Hayes led off the top of the third with a single to left field. With one out, freshman Rob Froio singled through the right side but Daniel Bierce ground into an inning-ending double play to prevent the Leopards from scoring.
Following the first inning run, Hanna settled down, striking out the side in the bottom of the third and retiring the Hawks in order in the fourth.
Senior Nick Tucker led off the top of the sixth with a single and two productive Lafayette outs moved him to third. Monmouth shortstop Kyle Higgins then mishandled a ball hit by Chris Luick that allowed Tucker to score the tying run.
Chromey entered the game in relief in the bottom of the sixth and Monmouth broke through for three unearned runs. Lafayette's fourth error of the game put the leadoff batter on first and Chromey hit Paul Bottigliero to put two runners on base. A wild pitch sent Andy Meyers to third base and a sac fly gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Monmouth's second sacrifice fly of the inning made it a 3-1 ballgame and with two outs, Brett Holland hit a RBI single through the right side that accounted for the inning's third run. Jason Morytko entered the game with one runner with two outs and a runner on first base and recorded the final out of the inning.
In the seventh, Higgins led off with a double to left field and with one out, Meyers hit a RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Higgins and give Monmouth the 5-1 edge. Monmouth relievers Tim Ballard and Justin Esposito pitched the final two innings of the game without allowing a run.
Lafayette returns to Patriot League play with doubleheaders against Lehigh on Saturday and Sunday in Bethlehem, Pa. Both days are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m.
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