In their last game before conference play the Seton Hall Pirates (26-12) picked up a 13-3 home win over the Monmouth Hawks (18-18) on Tuesday, April 19.
Owen T. Carroll Field erupted in the bottom half of the sixth inning as sophomore third basemen Joe Poduslenko launched a two-out grand slam that landed on the top floor of the campus parking deck just beyond the left field wall. Poduslenko’s first home run of the year put the Pirates up 10-1 and the contest out of reach for the Hawks. Poduslenko had five RBIs on the afternoon.
“It got to 2-0 and I was just trying to get the bat head out,” Poduslenko said. “I think I could be doing better with the bases loaded this year so I just kind of said to myself, ‘I’m gonna get the bat head out up in the count and let it fly. And it worked out.’”
The offensive onslaught began in the Pirates’ four-run first inning. Chris Chiaradio started off the inning with a leadoff single before putting himself in scoring position after stealing second. Derek Jenkins’s followed with an RBI single that put the Hall up 1-0. Jenkins, the nation’s leader in stolen bases, had two in the first inning which led to a run on a Matt Fortin RBI groundout. Rob Dadona drove in runs three and four on a double with two outs to give him two of his three RBIs on the day.
Jenkins finished with five stolen bases on the day, giving him 40 for the season while surpassing his career high of 38 from a year ago.
“He’s being a lot more aggressive,” Sheppard said. “We give him the green light, there’s certain times where we may take it off, but for the most part he’s on his own.”
Senior Luke Cahill made his season debut on the mound for Seton Hall. Cahill has missed all of the season prior to his start due to injury. The right-hander was only used for one inning of work, which turned out to be a trend for the afternoon.
“It was important because he hasn’t thrown all year,” Sheppard said. “We just wanted to get him out there.”
The Pirates used a total of eight pitchers. Cahill was credited with the win.
“It was planned out that we would do that throughout the game,” Sheppard said. “We used what we call a staff day.”
The Monmouth offense was unable to capitalize on opportunities to close the gap. Down 6-0 in the top of the sixth, the Hawks had the bases loaded. Anthony Pacillo walked home a run to give Monmouth its first of the game. Pacillo was replaced by Chris Morris who forced a ground out to get out of the jam.
Seton Hall will be back in action on Friday, April 22 against Villanova at Owen T. Carroll Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Matt Zeigafuse can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter @mattzeigafuse.