Hall baseball defeats West Virginia
A four run first inning gave the Seton Hall baseball team the lead for good as the Pirates defeated the West Virginia Mountaineers 10-4 in the first round of the Big East Tournament.
The victory keeps the Hall in the winner’s bracket of the tournament where they will face the winner of No. 1 seed Connecticut or No. 8 seed Notre Dame.
Senior pitcher Joe DiRocco got the start in the opening game and went eight innings, striking out three batters while allowing nine hits and three runs. The win over the Mountaineers improves DiRocco’s record to 7-1 while holding a 1.69 ERA.
The game was not all pitching though for the Hall as nine batters recorded in hit and three hitters having a multiple hit game.
Senior Frank Esposito went 3-5 and added two run to go along with his two RBI’s. The other Pirates with a multiple hit game were senior Sean Gusrang and junior Will Walsh who both recorded two hits against West Virginia.
The scoring got started early for the Pirates as it only took three batters to get the first run of the game. Freshman Zack Granite led off the game drawing a walk and then stealing second base.
After a strikeout from sophomore Mike Genovese, Gusrang hit a single to left center to score Granite, and giving the Hall the lead.
Later in the inning following junior Dale Anderson reaching base on a walk sophomore Giuseppe Papaccio reaching base on catcher’s interference, senior AJ Rusbarsky came up to bat with the bases loaded.
Rusbarsky hit a single down the right field line that scored two runners, giving the Pirates a three run lead. The next batter, Walsh, scored Papaccio from third on a fielder’s choice.
At the end of the top of the first inning the Hall held a 4-0 lead before, West Virginia got a chance to bat.
Two innings later in the top of the third the Pirates would double their lead to 8-0. Walsh got the hitting started in the inning with a one out triple would score on an Esposito double.
Genovese would bring in a run on a sacrifice fly while junior Michael Betz scored on a balk and Granite scoring on a triple from Gusrang.
DiRocco held the Mountaineers scoreless for the first four innings before allowing one run in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth.
West Virginia cut the Pirates lead in half in the eighth inning with a run off of junior Henry Wagner, cutting the score to 8-4. With their lead cut in half the Hall responded with two run in their half of the ninth inning all but ending the game.
The Pirates next game in the Big East Tournament will be at 8 p.m. on May 26 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., versus either Connecticut or Notre Dame.
Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org