|Gannaway (L, 1-2)||0.1||3||5||5||2||1|
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – A five-run first inning for Monmouth sent the Columbia baseball team to a 9-3 defeat to the Hawks Wednesday afternoon. Reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Chandler Bengtson was 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI on the day.
Bengtson put the Lions in the lead with his eighth dinger of the season, a two-run shot, in the top of the first. It marked the third consecutive game the junior went deep and extended his streak of reaching base to 27 games. Joe Engel notched a hit before Bengtson’s long ball to push his hitting streak to 14.
However, two straight walks proved to be costly in the bottom of the frame when Shaine Hughes and Clay Koniencki notched doubles to put the Hawks (10-18) in front, 3-2. Matt Graber and JP Walsh also registered RBI hits to make it a three-run ballgame.
In the third, Walsh plated another run with an infield single. Monmouth tacked on two more off of a fielder’s choice play with the bases loaded and a double steal with runners on the corners later in the frame. Walsh capped his three-RBI contest with a triple to bring in teammate Johnny Zega from first base in the fifth.
Michael Kuzbel led off the ninth with a pinch-hit double and scored after a wild pitch and groundout with the infield playing back holding a seven-run advantage.
Bengtson is now tied for eighth on Columbia’s career list with 18 career home runs and is one shy of tying Alex Ferrera ’11CC for seventh place.
Brett Gannaway (1-2) took the decision after being charged with all five runs scored in first. Relievers Bryce Barr, Leo Pollack and Lucas Hall all worked scoreless frames. Hall fanned a pair in the ninth.
The Lions will wrap up their road swing this weekend at Brown. The series will feature a doubleheader Saturday, April 14, beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by a single game Sunday, April 15, at 1 p.m.