JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Eric Mozeika (Secaucus, N.J./High Tech) pitched the final 2.2 innings to earn his second save of the season and the Saint Peter's offense erupted for eight runs to help the Peacocks win the rubber game of a three-game series against Monmouth 8-7 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) baseball action on Sunday.
Mozieka came into game with the tying run on second in the seventh inning with Saint Peter's clinging to a 7-6 edge and one out. After a walk, the senior recorded a fly out and a groundout to get out of the jam. The two teams then traded runs to maintain the one run margin going into the top of the ninth. Mozieka walked the lead off hitter, but then recorded a fly out and induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the game and hand the Peacocks the 2-1 series win.
Jim Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) paced the Saint Peter's (7-20, 2-6 MAAC) offensive attack with a 4-for-5 performance, including his first homer of the season along with two RBIs and two runs scored. Rob Moore added two hits, including a three-run homer while Nick Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) posted three hits and an RBI in the winning effort.
Grant Lamberton powered the Hawks (7-15, 4-3 MAAC) with two hits and four RBIs. Jake Gronsky posted two hits, two runs scored and an RBI and Danny Avella notched two hits, an RBI and a run scored in the loss.
Monmouth grabbed the lead twice on the afternoon, but the Peacocks answered both times and took the lead for good in the fourth and held on to earn its first conference series win of 2014.
Trailing 5-4 in the fourth, Saint Peter's scored three times to grab a 7-5 advantage.
Kyle Grimes (Iselin, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Memorial) doubled with one out and came around to score when Chris Hugg (Ironia, N.J./Randolph) doubled down the left field line to tie the game at 5. Smith singled to center to bring home Hugg before Henriquez hit a deep triple to right field to score Smith to give the Peacocks a 7-5 margin.
Doubles by Gronsky and Avella trimmed the margin to 7-6 in the seventh.
Saint Peter's answered right back with a run in the bottom of the inning to regain the two-run advantage. Michael Wulff (Madison, N.J./Madison) singled through the right side with one out and came around to touch home on Jon Kristoffersen's (Jefferson, N.J./Jefferson Township) RBI opposite-field double to left center for an 8-6 lead.
An error helped the Hawks score a run in the eighth to make it a one-run game, but could get no closer thanks to the pitching of Mozieka.
Monmouth jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the game after scoring three times in the first. Lamberton hit a two-run single and Craig Sweeney touched home on a steal.
The lead did not last long after the Peacocks' power bats came out in the bottom of the inning. Kristoffersen singled to center and Grimes walked before Moore took the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for an Earl Weaver three-run special and his team-leading fourth round tripper of the year. Smith then gave Saint Peter's a 4-3 lead when he went yard for the first time this season with a solo shot to left field.
The Hawks regained the lead in the third after Lamberton hit a two-run double to give the visitors a 5-4 margin. The Peacocks then scored three times in the fourth and held on for the 8-7 win and cap their third two-game winning streak of the year.
John Leiter (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) earned his first win of the season after allowing six runs (three earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched. Grimes added two hits and two runs scored while Kristoffersen had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.
Saint Peter's returns to action on Wednesday at Penn. First pitch is 3:30 p.m.