Heading into eighth inning, the Pirates were trailing 4-2. However, in the bottom of the eighth inning, after shortstop D.J. Ruhlman sent home Zach Weigel with an RBI single to right field, Kyle Grimm and the Pirates capitalized on an error by Blue Jays’ right fielder Kevin Connolly.
Connolly dropped a sure out off the bat of Grimm which allowed Ruhlman to score and kept the Pirates alive. Annunziata followed through with a rocket base hit into the outfield to give the Hall its first lead of the game.
“It was a great win for us,” Pirates’ head coach Rob Sheppard said after the game. “Our bats really got going in the eighth inning. It was great to see the upperclassman come through for us.”
Sophomore standout Anthony Pacillo was on the hill for the Pirates. The Blue Jays had their way with him, collecting four runs on nine hits. Pacillo only lasted five and two thirds innings before handing the reins off to the bullpen.
The bullpen anchored the Pirates. The three-man tag team of Dan Ditusa, Ryan Testani and Joe DiBenedetto pitched a combined three and a third innings, blanking the Blue Jays.
“[Our bullpen] did a great job relieving Anthony and closing out the game for us,” Sheppard said.
Creighton starting pitcher and redshirt freshman Rollie Lacy had a strong outing, going seven innings and only allowing three earned runs on five hits and two walks.
Lacey was strong all evening, however the aforementioned Annunziata had his number at the plate.
Annunziata finished 3 for 4 at the dish with two RBIs, including the go-ahead RBI, as well as a run scored.
“It is really good to see Sal swinging the bat well at this point in the year,” Sheppard said when talking about his slugger. “Hopefully he can keep it up for us.”
This was a huge win for the Pirates against the current Big East Conference leader, Creighton. The Hall improves to 6-4 in Big East play while Creighton falls to 8-4.
After the game, Sheppard talked about the importance of this win.
“At this point in the year every win is important,” the coach said. “Creighton is a good team so this is a very good win for us.”
The Hall will continue their three-game weekend series against Creighton on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on Owen T. Carroll Field.
Matthew Rachek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org