The Seton Hall men’s baseball team improved to 17-7 on the season with a 5-4 home win over Iona College on Tuesday evening.
Starting on the mound for the first time was freshman right-hander Matt Ardente. He began with a four-pitch walk, but improved as he recorded five strikeouts over three innings pitched.
“I was really excited. I was going out there with all my adrenaline pumping,” Ardente said after the game.
Ardente held Iona scoreless while Seton Hall pushed across five runs off five walks, one hit and five stolen bases.
Senior Derek Jenkins powered the last two runs in off a bases-clearing double that fell just shy of the left-centerfield boards. Recently named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, Jenkins leads his team with 29 hits on the season to go with 17 RBI. He is also second with a .319 batting average.
“I try to swing the bat as well as I can, try to do something for the team,” Jenkins said. “And that worked out today well. I just have to continue to do that.”
Iona made its move in the fifth inning, when the Gaels scored three runs off four hits and a Pirate error. Seton Hall went through two pitching changes until Anthony Pacillo got the final out.
It was there when Iona started to build a hitting advantage. The Gaels finished the game with 11 hits, compared to just four hits by the Pirates.
Even though Iona threatened by scoring another run in the sixth inning and having two on base in the top of the ninth, pitcher Zach Schellenger was able to close the game out a three-hit, four-strikeout outing. The Pirates were able to advance runners in the seventh and eighth innings, but were not able to capitalize at the plate.
In order to prevent close games like this in the future, Jenkins said fixes have to start at the plate.
“I think we got to have a better approach at the plate,” the senior outfielder said. “And defensively we just have to make good plays, and we’re very capable of doing that.”
The Pirates will try to put that plan into action on Wednesday, March 30, against Princeton on the road.