With its season on the line and a spot in the Big East Championship at stake, the Seton Hall baseball team was routed by the Creighton Bluejays, 12-1, on Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
The Bluejays were able to take advantage of Pirates starter Anthony Pacillo early and often. In the bottom of the first inning, Creighton’s Harrison Crawford launched a two-run homer over the left field wall to give the Bluejays an early 2-0 lead.
The Pirate defense did not do Pacillo any favors in the bottom of the second. Creighton added two runs onto their lead after three throwing errors from the Hall.
The Bluejays then made it 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth on a controversial run scored. With Kevin Connolly on third, Creighton’s Daniel Woodrow flied out in foul territory. Seton Hall’s Ryan Ramiz was able to make the catch despite being struck in the face by a fan’s glove. Connolly tagged from third and scored on the play. The run was upheld after the umpire’s discussion.
While Pacillo struggled, his counterpart, Creighton starter Keith Rogalla, was dealing. The freshman, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014, went seven innings while only giving up two hits and no earned runs. Rogalla carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but it was broken up by back-to-back singles from Zack Weigel and D.J. Ruhlman. Pacillo finished the game having allowed seven hits and four earned runs in four innings.
Creighton closed the door on the Pirates’ comeback hopes in the bottom of the sixth when the Bluejays scored five runs and added on to an already commanding lead that now stood at 12-0. The inning was highlighted by Matt Gandy’s bases-clearing three-RBI double.
The Hall was able to bring home its only run in the top of the eighth. A single to left field from Ruhlman, last year’s Big East Co-Player of the Year, scored Weigel.
The loss put an end to the Pirates’ 2015 campaign. The team finished with an overall record of 25-25 and a conference record of 9-10. While they did not meet their ultimate goal and advance to play St. John’s in the Big East Championship, they do have plenty to hang their hat on.
The Pirates’ offense during the regular season was led by Sal Annunziata, who ranked first on the team in hits and home runs with 48 and six, respectively. All-Big East Second Team select Kyle Grimm led the Blue and White in batting average with a respectable .306 mark.
As a team, Seton Hall was far and away the stolen bases leader in the Big East, totaling 88 on the season.
The pitching staff was solid all year as the Pirates were second in the Big East in hits, runs and earned runs allowed. The Pirates surrendered the least amount of walks in the conference.
With only Anthony Elia and Dan Ditusa leaving the pitching staff, the team has plenty to be optimistic about heading into next year.
Matthew Zeigafuse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @mattzeigafuse.