Xavier dampened the already rain soaked Pirates, edging out a 5-3 win over the Hall on Friday night at Owen T Carroll Field.
Sophomore pitcher Shane McCarthy was on the mound for the Pirates, exactly three weeks since his historic perfect game, and with a team best 2.36 ERA. McCarthy would however struggle against the might of the Musketeer bats, allowing two runs in the second inning to put the Pirates in an early hole.
With some fans making their way to the parking deck to avoid the wet conditions, the Pirates showed they were willing to get their hands dirty with catcher Mike Alescio smashing a triple which sparked a two-run fourth inning to tie things up at 2-2.
Things quickly turned for Alescio in the top of the fifth. Xavier’s Matt Fallon had what appeared to be a third strike, but a dropped ball and subsequent wild throw by Alescio saw Fallon reach base safely. Fallon would later advance to third on a passed ball, and score on a groundout, giving the Musketeers back a lead they would not again relinquish.
Both sets of bullpens remained under the dry, claustrophobic comfort of the dugout for the early stages. But in the sixth inning both sets of teams would send their relievers sprinting to the unsheltered bullpens, with the two teams going through a combined nine pitchers on the night.
McCarthy would take the loss for the Pirates, falling to 4-4 on the season despite allowing only two earned runs. Seton Hall has now lost three straight games for the first time all season, but will not have to wait long before trying to make amends. They take on the same Musketeers in a double header Saturday afternoon to decide the Big East conference series.
James Justice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MLSTakeover.