A&T loses pitchers’ duel to MonmouthCourtesy A&T Athletics / April 14, 2023
Monmouth won an Easter Sunday pitchers’ duel 2-0 over the North Carolina A&T Aggies in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) baseball at War Memorial Stadium thanks to two solo home runs from Hawks first baseman James Harmstead.
The universities only played one game of their scheduled three-game series because Friday and Saturday’s rain made getting the other two games played impossible. In fact, Sunday marked A&T’s only nine-inning game played this week after the Aggies’ Tuesday night game against Gardner-Webb ended in the third inning because of an unfortunate incident near War Memorial Stadium.
The Aggies dropped to 13-15 overall and 6-7 in the CAA. Monmouth won its third straight to improve to 12-15 overall and 3-6 in league play. A&T right-hander Xavier Meachem (L, 1-1) got the start and had an excellent outing. He lasted six innings, giving up only three hits, one run and three walks while striking out four.
Unfortunately for A&T, Monmouth got an even better start from RHP Reed Interdonato (W, 2-2). He pitched six scoreless innings, giving up two hits, one walk and striking out five. Dante Ciaramella and Ryan Bearse kept the Aggies scoreless and hitless over the final three innings, as Ciaramella pitched two innings of relief and Bearse pitched one.
A&T only gave up one hit after Meachem left the game. The only run Meachem surrendered came on Harmstead’s homer in the second inning. Meanwhile, Interdonato retired the first 10 Aggies he faced before second baseman Tre Williams singled with one out in the fourth inning before moving to second on a groundout by designated hitter Camden Jackson. But the inning ended with a Canyon Brown popout.
A&T got one other runner in scoring position on Sunday when right fielder Shemar Dalton hit a what-could-have-been double to right. Before Dalton’s double, Interdonato hit shortstop Sabin Roane with a 1-1 pitch.
But Monmouth catcher Mason Wolf threw out Roane trying to steal second for the inning’s first out. Chris Moss then flew out to left before the Dalton double. Dalton was stranded at second after Williams popped out. Right-hand reliever Jake Delisi helped to keep A&T close, however.
He pitched two scoreless and hitless innings, giving up two walks to keep Monmouth’s lead at one. But Harmstead’s second solo homer came in the ninth inning off RHP Justin Poris. Poris walked right fielder Ben Winstead before Aggies RHP Coley Kilpatrick replaced him. Brown threw out Winstead trying to steal second, and Kilpatrick caught Wolf looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Bearse retired the Aggies in order in the ninth to win the first-ever meeting between the two teams. This week, A&T will try to get in a few more games. The Aggies head to Newark, Del., to face the Blue Hens of Delaware University in a three-game CAA series starting Friday at 4 p.m.