BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Moravian College baseball team fell to non-conference opponent Montclair State University, 8-7, Thursday afternoon. Junior outfielder Anthony Bowens drove home the winning runs in the ninth inning for the Red Hawks.
Sophomore pitcher Chris Soltys would start the game on the mound for Moravian. Senior outfielder Mikey McGraw would get on base with a single to the second baseman. Sophomore shortstop Cody Pace then drove him home with a double to center field. Soltys would then get two ground outs and a strike out to get out of the inning.
Sophomore pitcher Dylan Papa would get the nod for the Red Hawks in the bottom half of the inning. He would throw a 1-2-3 inning with all three outs coming by way of the ground out.
Junior first baseman Justin Chesterman started the top of the second with a walk. He would then work his way around the bases to score on a ground out to put Montclair up 2-0.
Senior left fielder Austin Rock would hit his second home run of the season to left field in the bottom of the second as Moravian would cut the score in half at 2-1.
Junior outfielder Matt Moreno would lead-off the top of the fourth with a single. Moreno then worked his way to third after an error, and a single from sophomore catcher Jayson Stolz would drive him home.
Senior first baseman Kevin O'Keefe started the bottom half of the fourth with a lead-off double to left-center. Classmate third baseman Gregg Steinman then drove him home with a two-out single down the right field line to make the score 3-2, Montclair after four innings.
Pace would start the fifth for the Red Hawks with a walk, and junior third baseman Stephen Nappe would hit a double to left center. Moreno then drove home Pace with a single to right field. Soltys would get out of the inning after forcing a double play.
Freshman shortstop Colin Case forced a two-out walk to get on, and O'Keefe followed him with a RBI single up the middle to make the score 4-3 after five.
Sophomore designated hitter Matthew Gutkes would start the sixth with a lead-off double for Moravian. Rock followed with a single to right field. Junior pitcher Jake Campbell would come in for relief for the Red Hawks after that last hit. Steinman then hit a double to left field to knot the contest at four after six innings.
Nappe would break the tie in the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left center field.
Sophomore outfielder Joseph Connell started the bottom of the seventh with a double down the left field line. Case followed up with a walk. O'Keefe would clean up the bases with a two-RBI triple to center field to give the Greyhounds their first lead of the day at 6-5.
Sophomore infielder Lou Martini would start the eighth with a single, and work his way around the bases to tie the game back up at six.
The Red Hawks would strike for two more runs in the top of the ninth off of three hits to go up 8-6.
They Greyhounds would rally in the bottom the ninth after Connell got on with a lead-off single. Case then walked, and O'Keefe would try to bunt them over but end up beating the play to reach base safely. Gutkes then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make the score 8-7. Rock then popped up to first base and Steinman would end the game on a strikeout as Montclair would hold on for the 8-7 win.
Soltys went five innings and allowed four runs while junior pitcher Frank Trautz took the loss after going four innings and giving up four runs.
O'Keefe led the way after going 4-for-5 with three RBIs, a triple and a double while Rock went 2-for-5 with a home run. Connell had two hits and two runs scored while Steinman had two RBIs and two hits. Gutkes went 1-for-4 with one RBI while senior catcher Blake Shortall went 1-for-3.
Papa went five innings while giving up four runs in the contest. Sophomore pitcher Matt Canales picked up the win after going 0.1 inning while freshman pitcher Anthony Altieri grabbed the save. Nappe led Montclair after going 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Moreno went 3-for-5 with one RBI while Stolz went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Moravian plays host to Landmark Conference rival Susquehanna University on Saturday, March 31st. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Gillispie Field.