Home Homepage Latest Stories Strong Pitching Propels Montclair State past Franklin & Marshall

Strong Pitching Propels Montclair State past Franklin & Marshall

by Demsi Ramirez

Montclair State University continued their slate of home games, taking on Franklin & Marshall College in a double header series.

Junior pitcher Matt Pontari got the start of the first game for the Red Hawks and had four strikeouts within the first three innings. Striking 4 out of 9 different players.

The Red Hawks got things started with a at RBI single by junior outfielder Marcus Johnson, allowing Jason Moore to score.

In the bottom of the fifth, graduate student infielder Sam Angelo hit a double off the wall however, the Montclair State offense stalled and were not able to build off the Angelo double.

During the sixth inning, the Diplomats started to show signs of success against Pontari and his day was over. Pontari pitched really well on the day as he only allowed one run through five and a third. Following this, the Red Hawks brought in senior Jack Haveson.

Danny Deronde | The Montclarion

Montclair State's pitching currently has an overal ERA of 2.71. Danny Deronde | The Montclarion

Haveson did as much as he could to prevent further runs by the Diplomats but a sacrifice fly got them on the board and evened the score at one.

The Red Hawks executed a fast one, two, three inning in the eighth, with Haveson recording the last out when the ball was hit right back in his direction.

The game remained even until the bottom of the eighth, when Joe Gisonda tripled to right field. Graduate student infielder Reece Malek would then land a sacrifice fly to bring Gisonda home giving Montclair State a late 2-1 lead and it was enough to seal the deal for the first game.

“First game of the double header, we kind of knew we just needed to win, tough opponent and we did a lot of research on them,” Gisonda said. “Came out throwing strikes, didn’t have our best approach but came out with the win at the end and that’s what’s important.”

In game two of the double header, the Red Hawks started 6 ‘7 right handed pitcher, Michael Timberlake and he made his presence known early with a quick first three outs.

A base hit by Angelo allowed Johnson to get to third and immediately following was a double play by the Diplomats which got Angelo and McKenna out but Johnson crossed the plate for the first run of the game.

During the next frame, Johnson got on base again after a dropped fly ball which scored two more runs. Up next was Angelo and he hammered one to right center field for a three run shot and 6-0 lead.

It was an explosive offensive start and the Red Hawks knew they had to get going early.

“We came out hot because we knew we didn’t play our best brand of baseball in the first game,” Gisonda said. “We needed to prove to them that we are a top team and need to come out hot.”

Danny Deronde | The Montclarion

Montclair State is batting .266 as a team through seven games. Danny Deronde | The Montclarion

Montclair State’s six runs through two innings proved to be enough for the double header sweep. The offense certainly did its job however it was the pitching that really stood out as Timberlake, freshman Christian Addotta, and sophomore Michael Todaro combined for 12 strikeouts in game two.

Doubleheaders are always tough and Montclair State knew it was going to be difficult to push until the end.

“Second game of the day, it starts to become a long day. So later in those innings it’s tough to keep moving through, and throw a lot of pitches” Timberlake said. “But it’s my job to keep our offense in a position where they can put up some runs and it’s my job to throw strikes today.”

It was a huge day for Montclair State and their hot streak to the season continued against Franklin & Marshall College.

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