Pitching proves important
Freshman Greg Terhune pitched five shutout innings in his first career start to push the Pirates past Saint Peter’s 6-0 on Tuesday at Owen T. Carroll Field. Terhune let up only two hits to go along with two walks and four strikeouts en route to earning his first win at Seton Hall. He said he could not have envisioned his first start going much better than it did.”It was real good,” Terhune said. “I made a few mistakes with some walks but my teammates really picked me up in the field and made some great plays behind me.”The lefty credited his changeup for most of his success against the St. Peter’s lineup.”I kept them off balance pretty well,” Terhune said. “I would throw the fastball and then go soft and away with the changeup to put them away.”Coach Rob Sheppard also praised Terhune’s performance.”He threw well and did a real nice job,” Sheppard said. “We have been struggling a little bit with our mid-week starts and he came out and did a real good job.”Despite an hour and a half rain delay in the first inning, the Pirates (16-24-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Chris Spagnuolo hit an RBI double to score leadoff man junior Bobby Abreu. Spagnuolo later scored on a RBI groundout by junior Frank Esposito. Sheppard said it was great for the team to have Abreu work as the catalyst of the offense.”It’s always good to come out of the gate swinging bats and scoring runs,” Sheppard said, “especially when you have a freshman on the mound who did a real nice job for us.”The Pirates tacked on another run in the second inning after sophomore Will Walsh tripled with one out and later scored on senior Chris Fontenelli’s RBI single. Abreu was in the middle of the Pirates’ scoring again in the seventh inning, with an RBI single that scored junior A.J. Rusbarsky. Seton Hall added two more runs in the eighth inning from an RBI triple by sophomore Michael Betz and a sacrifice fly by freshman Giuseppe Papaccio.It would be more than enough offense for the Pirates’ pitching staff to work with, as freshman Rick Mangione followed Terhune’s lead with two scoreless innings.Sophomore Collin McGowan and freshman Ryan Harvey each chipped in scoreless innings to finish off the game.Saint Peter’s (15-26) only mustered five total hits off of Pirate pitching. Junior Craig Hughes took the loss after allowing four runs in seven innings. Senior Andrew Costello gave up the other two runs, although they were both unearned. The win provided a boost to the Pirates’ momentum after losing two out of three games at the University of South Florida last weekend. The team has not won a series since taking two out of three games against Cincinnati on April 11, losing series to Big East opponents Notre Dame and Louisville as well as South Florida.Sheppard still said he thinks his team is playing well over the past two weeks overall. “We played Louisville who was, at the time, No. 11 in the country,” he said. “We played South Florida down at South Florida and any time you play a Big East opponent at their home field, it’s a challenge. The guys did a real good job the past couple of weeks and it really showed with this mid-week game today (against Saint Peter’s).”The Pirates will return to conference play against Pittsburgh on Friday to continue their eight-game home stand. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Owen T. Carroll Field.Joshua Jongsma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.