Seton Hall baseball’s early offensive explosion led to a 17-7 win over Lehigh at Owen T. Carroll Field on Wednesday.
The Pirates put up five runs in the first inning and kept their foot on the gas throughout the rest of the game. Lefty Anthony Elia started for the Pirates, squaring off against sophomore right hander Josh Flyer.
Flyer proved to be his own worst enemy in the early part of the game, walking leadoff batter Zack Granite on five pitches before plunking the next batter, freshman Zack Weigel. The next Pirate, outfielder Scott Kalamar, drove in the first run of the game when he jumped on a fastball and smoked a liner into right. Giuseppe Papaccio flew one out to right in the next at bat to score Weigel from third on the sacrifice.
Back to back walks to Mike Genovese and Sal Annunziata forced Flyer out of the game after a third of an inning. Lehigh head coach Sean Leary opted to bring in the left hander Rene Tato.
Tato was not much help to Flyer, allowing all three inherited runners to score. The first came home on a sacrifice fly from junior Chris Selden and the next two scored on a double by sophomore Tyler Boyd that one-hopped the fence in right. Boyd finished the day 3-4 with three doubles and 3 RBIs.
Pirate head coach Rob Sheppard was proud of his team’s effort in a first inning that allowed Seton Hall to bat around the order.
“It was good to get off to a good start, give us some runs early,” Sheppard said. “Anytime you can score early in the game, it takes pressure off the pitching and it obviously puts pressure on the opponent.”
Seton Hall tacked on another two runs in the second thanks to some good speed on the bases. Granite stole second after a walk put him on first. Weigel then ripped a single to right field to drive in the run.
Genovese drove in the Pirates seventh run on yet another single to right. However, the sun didn’t set on Lehigh that quickly.
The Hawks tacked on four runs in the third inning to put themselves back in the game. The Pirates allowed a run to score on a ground out to short and another scored when Annunziata threw the ball into left field trying to gun down the runner advancing to third.
Elia displayed the body language of someone who was displeased with the umpire’s zone throughout his outing. He lost a bit of control and started getting touched up after a close call put Lehigh third baseman Connor Faust on first.
Sheppard spoke about how a pitcher can stay resilient when facing adversity from an umpire.
“He’s got to work through that stuff,” Sheppard said. “When you’re a pitcher, you got to pitch to the umpire. You pitch at this level; you have to be able to make adjustments. He got hit a little bit, but it’s just something as a pitcher you have to get used to.”
Elia finished the game throwing 3.2 innings with 4 strikeouts and allowing, 5 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned runs.
The Pirates offense continued to stay strong, finishing the game with 17 runs. Weigel highlighted the offensive attack finishing 3-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
Seton Hall will open up their next series on Friday in Philadelphia against Villanova.
Gerard Gilberto can be reached at email@example.com.