West Long Branch, NJ -- Monmouth University head baseball coach Dean Ehehalt captured his 500th career victory at MU with his team's 7-2 victory over visiting Lafayette, Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action. Jamie Rosenkranz (Oakhurst, N.J./Ocean Township) went 4-for-5 with two runs and a pair of RBIs for the Blue and White, which also received a career-best outing from starter Jonathan Shippee (Waterford, N.J./Shenendehowa).
In his 19th season in West Long Branch, Ehehalt, a three-time Northeast Conference Coach of the Year, earned his first win in a Monmouth uniform back on March 19, 1994 against Lynn University. An eight-time New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Coach of the Year recipient, the Middletown native picked up his 500th victory as a head coach last May in a walk-off win over LIU Brooklyn. The Hawks' head man, who coached two years at Upsala before arriving at MU, has a career record of 521-473-2 throughout his 21-year career.
Shippee, who lasted 6.1 innings, 1.1 frames longer than his career-best, struck out three in his fifth outing of the season. Neil Harm (Hamilton, N.J./Steinert) was perfect in 2.2 innings on the hill for his second save of the season.
Rosenkranz got the Hawks offense started in the first as he singled and moved to second on Jake Gronsky's (Danville, Pa./Danville Area) base hit to right field. After Danny Avella (Matawan, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) earned a full-count walk, Tim Bickford (Wallingford, Conn./Mark T. Sheehan) reached on a fielder's choice, chasing in Rosenkranz for the first run of the afternoon.
In the third inning, Rosenkranz registered an infield single, moved to second on a balk and third on a wild pitch by Lafayette's starter, Toby Schwartz, which set up Bickford's RBI infield single to give MU a 2-0 lead.
The Hawks added to their advantage in the ensuing inning as Tom Augustyniak (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata), who made his first start since the 2010 season, roped a RBI double to the right-center field gap, scoring Josh Boyd (Port Murray, N.J./West Morris Central), who walked with one out in the frame. Two batters later, Rosenkranz connected on a double of his own, scoring Augustyniak to give MU a 4-0 advantage.
Back-to-back doubles in the top of the fifth by the Leopards cut the Monmouth lead to 4-2.
The Blue and White added insurance runs in the eighth, as Ed Martin (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan [Brookdale CC]) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, while Rosenkranz and Gronsky both chipped in RBI singles, scoring Boyd, who reached on sacrifice bunt that was mishandled, and Augustyniak, who worked a four-pitch walk.
Bickford ended the day with a pair of RBIs, while Gronsky chipped in two hits.
Monmouth returns to action tomorrow as it welcomes in Quinnipiac University in the opening game of a four-game NEC series. Pat Light (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) is scheduled to start for the Hawks, with first pitch slated at 3 p.m.