On Thursday, the Seton Hall baseball team defeated Georgetown, 2-1, on a walk-off single by D.J. Ruhlman.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth and the score tied at 1-1, Ruhlman came to the plate in his first game since undergoing emergency appendectomy surgery following the May 1 win against Creighton. Facing a full count against Simon Matthews with runners on first and third, Ruhlman pulled one into left field that allowed Jackson Martin to score easily from third base, giving the Pirates the victory.
The game was very much controlled by the starting pitchers from both sides. Freshman Shane McCarthy started for the Pirates in his first start since April 26 against Rutgers. McCarthy made quick work of the Hoyas in the first inning, only using 12 pitches to send the Georgetown lineup down in order. McCarthy would face the minimum number of batters through six innings.
“It was great to get out there and it’s always great to pitch at home,” McCarthy said. “I’m just happy to be back competing on the mound.”
Matt Hollenbeck started for Georgetown and faced no real danger against the Pirate hitters. Hollenbeck worked through the first three innings without allowing a runner to advance past first. He ran into some trouble in the fourth when the Pirates got their first runner in scoring position, but Seton Hall couldn’t bring him around to score.
The Pirates would strand four runners in scoring position throughout the afternoon.
The Hoyas got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning after an error by Ruhlman with one out allowed Chase Bushor to reach safely. Bushor would come around to score from second on a single by A.C. Carter that went through the left side of the infield, giving the Hoyas a 1-0 lead at the time.
The Pirates got the run right back in the bottom of the seventh, however. Kyle Grimm led off the inning with a single, followed by a double by Sal Annunziata that went to right field, putting two runners in scoring position. With one out, Ryan Ramiz grounded out to first, which allowed Grimm to score from third, tying the game at 1-1.
It looked like the Pirates would take the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Zack Weigel hit a one-out triple all the way to the right-centerfield fence, prompting the Georgetown defense to pull the infield in. The next batter up, Ramiz, grounded to shortstop Ryan Busch, who fired home to cut down Weigel at the plate. Ramiz was then thrown out at second as he tried to advance.
Ruhlman’s walk-off gives the Pirates momentum heading into a critical doubleheader with Georgetown on Friday starting at 1 p.m. at Owen T. Carroll Field.
“It’s a big boost,” head coach Rob Sheppard said. “It’s a big lift for him and it’s a big lift for his teammates.”
The Pirates are now 8-8 and hold a one-game lead for third place in the Big East over Georgetown, Villanova and Butler, all of whom are tied for fourth place in the conference at 7-9.
Kevin Huebler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Hueblerkevin