One run games define the Pirates’ series with the Irish

The Seton Hall baseball team (21-21, 7-11) turned an ordinary Tuesday into a milestone marker this past week as they reached win 1,900 in team history after defeating the St. Peter’s Peacocks by a score of 3-0 at Owen T. Carroll Field.

The historical day was due in large part to the lockdown pitching performance of sophomore starter Frank Morris, who hurled six and two thirds innings of two hit, shutout ball in just his third start.

Morris, now 2-2 on the season, improved his ERA to 3.11 and now boasts a .227 batting average against.

The Pirate offense was fueled by senior infielder A.J. Rusbarsky who reached base three times in four plate appearances, with a sacrifice fly and two RBI.

Over the weekend, the Pirates visited Notre Dame (16-23-1, 7-10) for a three game set.

The Pirates and the Irish opened up the Big East 2009 regular season, as Seton Hall won the series two-games-to-one. This was the last series that Notre Dame played host to Seton Hall at Frank Eck Stadium. The series was defined by one run games.

In game one of the three game series, pitching was the talk of the day as the Pirates shut down the Irish bats in a 2-1 victory. Senior Joe DiRocco got all the run support he needed thanks to Will Walsh and Zack Granite’s one run a piece.

DiRocco (6-0) struck out four in six and a third innings as Brian Dupra (2-5) got the loss despite pitching a complete game.

Senior Frank Esposito led off the top of the third inning with a single, and scored on a triple to left field by Grantite. Walsh then put the finishing touches on the board with his fourth home run of the season to give DiRocco and the Pirates the win.

In Game two of the weekend series Seton Hall fell short to Notre Dame in extra innings by a score of 2-1. Eric Jagielo had a two-out game winning single in the bottom of the 12th inning.

The loss ended the Pirates three-game winning streak which was a season best.

Mick Doyle led off the home half of the 12th inning with a six pitch walk before moving to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Frank DeSico and to third base on a ground out by Greg Sherry. This set up Jagielo for the game-winning two out walk-off hit off sophomore reliever George Fernandez.

The Fighting Irish ended Seton Hall’s record of scoring first in the last five games thanks to DeSico’s hit with an RBI single scoring Adam Norton for a 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Fernandez (1-1) suffered the loss after giving up a run in his 3.2 innings of relief. Sean Fitzgerald (1-0) earned the victory for the Fighting Irish.

In the rubber match of the three game series, late home runs by Notre Dame sealed their faith in South Bend with a 5-4 defeat. Freshman right-hander Brian Gilbert started for Seton Hall, lasting seven and two thirds innings but surrendered three runs on eight hits, only striking out one.

The Seton Hall offense gave Gilbert a three-run lead and playing solid defense in the early parts of the game. Coming into the game in the seventh inning with two outs was left hander sophomore Rick Mangione to face Eric Jagielo, but he walked on a full count.

This set up Ryan Harvey with two outs and runners on first and second. Mancini delivered for Notre Dame with a three-run home run over the left-centerfield wall to give the Irish a 5-4 lead and the eventual win.

Harvey (3-2) suffered the loss, as Dan Slania (1-2) got his first win of the season, giving up a run on three hits in two and a third innings of relief.

The Pirates are now 6-4 in their last ten games.

The Pirates will play host to the Louisville Cardinals at Owen T. Carroll Field Tuesday with first pitch of the three game series scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

Chris Paizis can be reached at

John Lopiano can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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