MONMOUTH, NJ - Host Monmouth used 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning to upend the Iona College baseball 11-5 this afternoon in New Jersey to start a three-game series to conclude the MAAC regular season.
With one out in the first inning, the Hawks (19-27, 10-12 MAAC) scored seven runs before tallying three runs with two outs. Tom Jakubowski started the attack with a two RBI single through the right side. With the bases loaded, Dan Abate was hit by a pitch to score a run followed by Jakubowski scoring on an infield single from Danny Long.
Abate and Chris Gaetano scored the next two runs during a fielding error before the seventh run came across as Grant Lamberton drove in long with a ground out for the second out of the inning. Shaine Hughes and Pete Pacun each added RBI singles prior to the 10-run inning coming to an end as Jakubowski drove in his third run of the inning with a double down the left field line.
The Gaels (20-23, 13-9 MAAC) cut into the lead starting in the fourth as Sean Breen scored on a fielder's choice after reaching on a triple to left center to leadoff the inning. In the eighth, Seth Hoagland drove 3-2 pitch with two outs up the middle for a single to score Matt Byrne.
After Monmouth regained the one run in the bottom of the eighth on a Abate sacrifice fly, the Maroon & Gold looked for a rally in the ninth. Breen, Garrett Murray and Sean Scales strung together three straight singles to start the frame. With Joe DeMaio on to pinch run for Scales, Stephen Furman cleared the bases with a double to left field to pick up three RBI.
From there, Tyler Ksiazek recorded three straight outs to close out the win for the Hawks. Monmouth finished the afternoon with 11 hits and seven walks to score the seven runs while Kyle Ajjan earned the victory behind six innings with five strikeouts.
In the effort for Iona, Breen finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored along with a walk. Alex Beckett added two hits while Lou Matarazzo walked twice. In relief work, Jason Antalek struck out three in three scoreless innings.
The two teams return to the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader starting at 1:00 pm to conclude the 2017 regular season. The Gaels currently hold a one game lead in the win column over Niagara for the fourth seed ahead of next week's MAAC Championships.
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