Matkovic Ties Triples Mark as Scots Rally Past Rams


The Monmouth College baseball team returned to Midwest Conference action on Monday at Cornell with an 11-4 win. The Fighting Scots (12-12, 5-6) scored eight unanswered runs to win the game, the first of three matchups with the Rams in 2024.

“Big result for us on the road and we showed a lot late in the game.” said head coach Alan Betourne. “This all came together pretty quick yesterday and coordinating travel, classes and revamping our schedule but it all worked out for us.”

Clayton Matkovic (Sherrard, Illinois) led off the top of the first with a double and Tyler Houck (Park Ridge, Illinois) reached on an error. Another error put two in scoring position but the Rams escaped the inning without a run scoring.

Cornell took the lead against Cade Sharp (Aledo, Illinois) in the second. The Rams drew a leadoff walk, stole second and drew a two-out walk before a single put them on top 1-0.

Houck singled with one out in the third and Daniel Lummus (New Port Richey, Florida).followed with a single to right. With two outs, Alexander Dye (Albuquerque, New Mexico) doubled to the wall in left to put the Scots on top 2-1 Dye went to third on a balk and scored on a throwing error by the Rams catcher for a 3-1 lead.

Cornell hit a leadoff homer in the fourth to pull within a run and neither team scored until the seventh. Roy Ralston (Macon, Illinois) took over for Sharp and a leadoff walk started the inning for the Rams. A single, sacrifice bunt and groundout to second tied the game A high chopper over the mound went for an infield single to give the Rams a 4-3 lead.

Monmouth came back right away in the eighth. Nate Reed (Chenoa, Illinois) drew a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jacob Blunck (Forsyth, Illinois). AJ Freeman (Rock Island, Illinois) tied the game with a single to center and he moved to second on the throw home. Scott singled home Freeman to give the Scots a 5-4 lead and Matkovic’s record-tying sixth triple of the season gave the Scots a 6-4 lead. Houck singled home Matkovic for a 7-4 lead. Lummus singled to center and an error on the play allowed Houck to score for an 8-4 lead though the Rams threw out Lummus at third base.

“As soon as Clayton hit that ball I knew he had a chance at a triple and I welcomed him to the club,” said Betourne.

Reed started the ninth with a walk and Blunck walked before both moved up as Freeman reached on an error while sacrificing. Reed came around to score on the throwing error and Blunck scored on a groundout by Scott. Matkovic singled home Freeman for an 11-4 Monmouth lead.

Sharp took a no-decision as he allowed two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six over six innings. Ralston (2-2) picked up the win as he allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three over three innings.

“Sharp was a leader for us tonight and that’s what we needed from a senior against a good hitting team,” said Betourne. “Ralston is getting more comfortable out there and getting the cushion late was huge before he went out and closed the door.”

MONMOUTH MOMENTS: Matkovic has hit safely in 15 of the last 16 games and he has 10 multi-hit games He leads the Scots with eight doubles and six triples The six triples ties coach Alan Betourne, Jordan Ball and Harry Sanchez for the single-season Monmouth record Lummus has hit safely in 21 of 24 games this season He has nine multi-hit games Houck had two hits and has 10 multi-hit games The top three batters in the order were 8-for-18 with four runs scored and three RBI Dye has RBI in four of the last five games and is the fourth player to drive in at least 20 on the season Dye is second on the team with seven doubles Reed had two hits, two walks and two runs scored Freeman had two hits and two runs scored Sharp has gone at least five innings in six straight starts.He has at least four strikeouts in five outings this season The Scots are 10-2 when scoring at least eight runs in a game, 4-1 in MWC action The Scots are 103-41-2 all-time against Cornell and 12-8 over the last 20 games and 5-5 in the last 10 in Mount Vernon Monmouth won the season series in 2022 and 2023 Monday”s game was originally scheduled for a Tuesday doubleheader and game two will now be played in Monmouth next week The Scots host Ripon for a Noon doubleheader on Saturday.

***Courtesy of Nathan Baliva, Monmouth College***

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