FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Fairfield University baseball team sure made these two games exciting to watch. The Stags started the day by blasting six home runs in a 15-9 victory and concluded the evening by escaping a bases loaded jam with a game-ending double play to record a doubleheader sweep against Monmouth by taking the finale 7-6. Drew Arciuolo was at the forefront of the offensive barrage by going 7-for-8 with two homers, a double, triple, five runs scored, and eight RBI.
Power was the theme for the Stags (26-18, 13-4 MAAC) in the first game as the team blasted six home runs in the first five innings. Combined with their last game at NJIT, the Stags had hit eight of their 24 homers in a 14-inning span.
Troy Scocca started the power display with his team-leading fifth long ball of the spring, a two-run shot that put the Fairfield lead at 3-0. The Stags would add three more home runs in the third when Mac Crispino and Dan Hopkins started the frame with back-to-back homers and Arciuolo capped the four run spot with a two run shot to extend the Stag lead to 8-0.
Arciuolo and Hopkins would also homer in the fifth, with Arciuolo's shot an emphatic three-run shot that cleared the scoreboard in left field. The Stags led by as many as 12, with a 15-3 lead in the eighth before Monmouth (16-24, 8-9 MAAC) crept back in the game with three runs in the eighth and ninth before Mike Bonaiuto finished the game with a strikeout.
John Signore started the game by striking out the first four hitters he faced and totaled eight in his 6.1 innings of work. Signore scattered 10 hits and gave up three runs while recording 12 swings and misses, mostly on his curve ball which he was able to throw for strikes all game long.
This was the second time this season that the Stags have hit more than four home runs in a game, something they did not accomplish since 2010. The six home runs are also tied for the tenth most in a NCAA game this season.
The Stags kept the offensive momentum in the nightcap by putting up a five spot in the first inning. However, they scored these runs in a different fashion. The Stags tallied six hits, including four-straight. Only two of those hits left the infield, with a Michael Conti RBI single to left and a Crispino two-run single into right. The Stags had the benefit of a hard surface as two RBI singles bounced over the heads of the Monmouth infielders.
After adding another Arciuolo run in the second which made the score 6-1, Monmouth responded with a four spot off starter Gavin Wallace to cut the Fairfield lead to one at 6-5. Chris Gaetano's three run homer was the biggest blow in the frame as the Hawks scored all four runs with just one out. After a meeting on the mound, Wallace would settle down and record back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.
Wallace used that momentum, retiring 12 of his next 13 hitters before being lifted after a single into left in the seventh.
The Stags added what proved to be a vital insurance run as Arciuolo tripled home a run in the fourth, his eighth RBI of the day and the 15th in his last six games. In fact, he has now driven in a run in six-straight contests, a stretch where he is hitting .640 (16-for-25).
Leading 7-5 with a man on in the seventh, Bonaiuto was brought in to try and close the door, but allowed three-straight singles and a run that cut the Fairfield lead back to a run at 7-6. With the bases loaded and the Hawks' biggest power threat at the plate, Bonaiuto got Jakubowski to ground into the game ending 4-6-3 double play.
With his victory, Wallace tied the single season program record with his eighth win of 2017, the second-straight season he has reached that mark.
Crispino, Scocca, Conti, and Hopkins all tallied multi-hit games in the first contest, with Scocca and Crispino finishing the day with four hits.
The Stags will go for the sweep tomorrow when they take on the Hawks at noon. The game is scheduled to be streamed on Facebook Live.