Fayetteville, NC (02/18/03) - Matt Kleckner had only one hit on Tuesday, but it proved to be huge for the Methodist Monarch baseball team.
Kleckner, a junior third baseman from Ventura, Calif., connected on a grand slam home run in the bottom half of the eighth inning, and that proved to be the game-winning hit for the Monarchs as they rallied past non-conference rival Guilford 6-4 at Shelley Field. The victory keeps 10th-ranked Methodist undefeated at 4-0, and the Monarchs have now won nine straight games head-to-head against Guilford.
Methodist trailed 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth and had only three hits in the first seven innings. However, Tom Matuseski led off with a single to left field, and was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Isaac Norris. After leadoff hitter Jay Lucas was hit by a pitch, Kleckner belted Michael Idol's first pitch over the fence in left field for the grand slam.
Until that moment, Methodist had its troubles with Guilford pitchers Ciahnan Miller and Michael Idol. The Monarchs loaded the bases in both the second and third innings, but came away scoreless both times.
Methodist scored its first run in the second as Norris tripled down the line in right field, scoring Jason Shipley from first. In the sixth, Matuseski scored on an RBI single to right by shortstop Kyle Johnson.
Guilford jumped on Monarch starter Justin Hall for three runs on six hits in the first three innings. The Quakers scored twice in the second on a two-run single to left field by Zach Morgan, and a run in third on an RBI double by Brian Slate.
The Quakers made it 4-1 in the fourth when R.J. Marks singled to left, scoring Morgan. However, Methodist reliever David Reece closed out the game with five hitless innings.
Reece improved to 3-0 on the season with a walk and two strikeouts, while Matuseski went 2-for-4 with two runs scored for Methodist. Morgan went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs for Guilford, while Marks went 2-for-3 and A.J. McCauley went 2-for-5. Idol took the loss for the Quakers.
Guilford hosrs Medaille Saturday (2/22) at 11:00 a.m.