Marist baseball defeated Monmouth in the rubber match of a three game series on Sunday afternoon thanks to a Randy Taveras walk-off single.
Conor McNamara, despite being off to a slow start with an 0-2 record, dominated in his outing today. McNamara pitched six and two thirds scoreless, five of which were no-hit, allowing just three hits and no walks.
The Red Foxes offense got things going in the third inning, when Reece Armitage led off with a single to center field. Anthony Lazar reached base on a ground ball that went between the third baseman’s legs, and Andrew Rouse was able to get Lazar home by with a safety squeeze to score the first run of the game. Frankie Gregoire followed with a single to left field, driving in Anthony Lazar to extend the Marist lead to two. Monmouth pitcher Dan Klepchick limited the damage in the inning, stranding two runners on base.
Armitage led off the fourth with a solo home run to straightaway right field, the freshman outfielder’s first career homer.
To start the sixth, Monmouth’s Clay Koniencki broke up McNamara’s no-hit bid with a ground ball up the middle. Danny Long followed with another single. McNamara made matters worse, hitting a batter to load the bases for Monmouth’s senior star Shaine Hughes, who has a .351 batting average on the year. McNamara was able to get out of only trouble of his start by getting Hughes to ground out to first base.
In the eighth inning, Monmouth got on the board off reliever Tyler Dearden, with a Danny Long double down the left field line. Long advanced to third on a wild pitch and was driven in by a groundout, cutting the Marist to two runs.
With the game 3-1 in the ninth, Mike Coss was again called to close out the game. He walked his first batter and then gave up a single to put two runners on. A wild pitch advanced those runners to second and third with no outs. A groundout by Zach Schild drove in a run, advancing the tying run to third base. Pinch hitter Matt Graber tied the game at three with a deep sacrifice fly to left field.
The Hawks cut a Red Fox rally short, striking out Lazar and Gregoire to leave two men stranded to send the game into extra innings.
Coss came back to pitch a scoreless tenth, while the Red Foxes would not go quietly in the bottom half.
Greg Kocinski launched a double in the right centerfield gap to lead off the inning. After a hit by pitch, Monmouth’s catcher Zach Schild picked off Kocianski at second, and it looked like the teams were headed to the 11th.
Marist was able to recover and loaded the bases for Randy Taveras, who hit the walk-off single to win the game.
“The objective is to get the W,” Taveras said. “At that moment you just want to relax, take a deep breath and let it happen,” Taveras added about his approach.
Marist improves to 2-1 in MAAC play and 7-11 overall.
“This weekend has kind of been a bugaboo for a couple years in terms of getting off to a good start, so I’m really happy with how the guys played,” Coach Chris Tracz said.
The team returns to non-conference play on Wednesday against UMass, Lowell.