Baseball Drops Season Opener to Denison, 10-8

Demorest, GA (3/5/10) - Denison University scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Big Red handed Montclair State a 10-8 setback in the Red Hawks season opener at Piedmont College on Friday evening.

Sophomore Kevin Bond (Cedar Grove, NJ / Cedar Grove) belted a solo home run while junior catcher Mike Ercolano (Vernon, NJ / Vernon) drove in three runs as MSU (0-1) led 7-5 before the rally by Denison in the seventh.
The game lasted just over four hours finishing at the midnight hour.

Denison jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning but the Red Hawks answered right back scoring four time in the top of the second. Bond walked to opening the inning and Michael Boggi (Towaco, NJ / Montville) and Adam Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ / Gov. Livingston) loaded the bases followed with singles to load the bases. Ercolano would clear them with a double as MSU took a 3-2 lead. Montclair was not through as Sam Politan (Livingston, NJ / Livingston) walked and moved to second on a sacrifice putting runners on second and third. Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) lofted a sacrifice fly to score Ercolano as MSU grabbed a 4-2 lead.

Two runs in the bottom of the third by Denison tied the game at 4-2, but Montclair went back on top in the fifth as Boggi smacked a two-run double scoring Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) and Scott Evangelist (Northfield, NJ / Holy Spirit). After Denison cut the lead to 6-5 in the sixth, Bond blasted his 11th career home run, a solo shot in the top of the seventh putting the Red Hawks in front 7-5.

But Denison rallied in the seventh scoring twice to tie the game before Drew Rice provided the big hit, a three-run homer that gave the Big Red a 10-7 advantage. Montclair threatened in the eighth as it loaded the bases with one out however the Red Hawks managed just one run as Mickey McGraw (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) scored on a wild pitch.

Montclair went down in order in the ninth.

Boggi and Bergman each had two hits for MSU, which collected eight in the game. Junior righthander Jack McDonough (Cranford, NJ / Cranford) went five innings allowing four runs and four hits, striking two and walking three. Giovanni Caraballo (Elizabeth, NJ / Elizabeth) suffered the loss in relief.

The Red Hawks continue their three-game weekend trip on Saturday as they take on North Carolina Wesleyan at Piedmont College. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm.