Poor pitching blows lead and series for Pirates
A controversial call at home plate ended a potential road victory for the baseball team (33-11) Sunday, giving Creighton an 8-7 win and two out of three in the overall series.
Seton Hall jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, with the offense starting on a leadoff single to sophomore Derek Jenkins. Jenkins would later be thrown out at second base on a fielder’s choice hit by sophomore Zack Weigel. Sal Annunziata then crushed his fifth homerun of the season, plating Weigel to give the Pirates the early advantage.
Seton Hall would carry its 2-0 lead to the third inning, when the Bluejays got on the board. Following a leadoff triple by freshman Daniel Woodrow, senior Brad McKewon flew out to deep centerfield to score Creighton’s first run and cut the Seton Hall lead to 2-1.
Both Seton Hall and Creighton would trade runs in the fourth inning.
Annunziata led off the fourth with a single, advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Kyle Grimm and later to third on a wild pitch. The Pirates continued with the small ball approach as another sacrifice bunt, this time by senior Dillon Hamlin, brought Annunziata in to push the Pirates lead to 3-1.
In the bottom-half of the inning, sophomore Reagan Fowler reached first on a hit-by-pitch. He would later score on a double by senior Ben Lahn to bring the score to 3-2 Seton Hall.
Creighton would tie the score at three in the fifth inning. McKewon led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald. McKewon later scored on a double by junior Jake Peter.
Seton Hall re-gained the lead in the sixth, with Annunziata continuing his torrid hitting performance, this time with a single to left field to lead off the inning. Annunziata advanced to second on a groundout by Grimm. He advanced to third base would come home to score later in the inning on a throwing error by the pitcher. Hamlin would also reach first on the error. It would not be long before Seton Hall plated another run on a Creighton miscue, as a throwing error trying to throw out freshman Joe Poduslenko at first base allowed Hamlin to score from second base and give the Pirates a 5-3 lead.
Creighton would answer back again in the seventh inning.
With a runner on first with two outs, freshman Anthony Pacillo surrendered an RBI double to senior Jerry Mitchell to cut the lead to 5-4. Inefficient pitching cost the Pirates later in the inning after two consecutive walks allowed by junior reliever Conor Krauss, a costly hit batter tied the game at 5-5.
The game would remain tied at five until the 10th inning, as the game needed extra innings to decide a winner. Sal Annunziata and Kyle Grimm led off the inning with back-to-back singles. A sacrifice bunt from senior Chris Selden moved the two into scoring position. With the bases loaded on an intentional walk to Hamlin, sophomore Chris Chiaradio and Jenkins hit a pair of RBI to give the Pirates a 7-5 lead.
With the game all but won, the Pirates turned to sophomore Steve Lombardi to close it out. Lombardi loaded the bases, giving up a single and two walks before recording a single out. Fowler then singled up the middle to score two runs and tie the game at seven. The Bluejays then tried to catch the Pirates sleeping, attempting a double steal to win the game. Hamlin threw wide of third base and Creighton’s Peter turned for home. The throw by junior D.J. Ruhlman’s appeared to be in time, but Peter was called safe with the winning run.
Seton Hall will look to bounce back from its two consecutive losses this past weekend when the team returns to action on Friday, May 9 to host Xavier for the first of a three-game set at Owen T. Carroll Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
David Heim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.