The Seton Hall Pirates baseball team snapped a five-game losing streak Wednesday evening when it beat the Rider Broncs 10-4 at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange.
Seton Hall got off to a two-run lead in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Derek Jennings reached on a bunt hit and stole second before left fielder Zack Weigel drilled an RBI single into left field. Weigel would also come around to score after another single to left field, this time by third baseman Mike Caputo.
Rider answered right back with a four-run top of the second inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, catcher Jack Finn and right fielder Dalton Mayberry hit back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game up at two runs apiece. Second baseman Richie Tecco then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Broncs the lead, and Rider added a fourth run when Finn scored on a wild pitch from reliever Tim Edwards.
The Pirates managed to add another run in the bottom of the second. Jenkins roped an RBI single to drive in second baseman Rob Dadona, who had singled and advanced to second on a balk by Rider reliever Andrew Tumbelty. Seton Hall then tied the game in the bottom of the third. A single by first baseman Mikael-Ali Mogues and walks from Dadona and right fielder Ryan Ramiz loaded the bases for the Pirates with two outs. Shortstop Chris Chiaradio was then hit by a 2-2 pitch to force in Mogues, tying the game up at four runs apiece.
Seton Hall retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jenkins reached on a bunt single and stole second base, then advanced to third on a groundout by Weigel. Designated hitter Brett
Fontenelli then drove Jenkins in with an RBI single. Caputo then singled, which set up a two-run single off the bat of Ramiz.
The Pirates continued to pad their lead in the late innings of the game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Weigel brought in Chiaradio with an RBI single, and in the eighth inning Jenkins singled in Dadona to make the score 9-4 in favor of the Pirates. Weigel then brought in the final run of the game with a single to score Chiaradio, making the final score 10-4 Pirates.
After the game, Coach Shepard discussed the Pirate bullpen’s ability to shut down Rider after the four-run second inning.
“Rider had some big base hits that inning, and credit goes to them for handling our pitching at that point,” Shepard said. “The guys who came in after out of the pen did a really nice job and really limited what they were able to do after that second inning. Most importantly, they threw strikes. We had one walk all day and nine strikeouts.”
Jenkins had four hits and three stolen bases on the day. After the game, he talked about how his pregame preparation affected his excellent performance on the field.
“The main thing that I’ve been working on is coming into every game the same way, whether it’s taking BP with the same approach or getting my extra work in,” Jenkins said. “ It was a little nice not having to stress about finals. It’s just baseball from here on out, so it was nice getting here early and getting my work in and not worrying about any of that stuff. I played how I know how to play, and I have to do that more consistently, so I just come out with the same mindset and same approach every day, and that’s where success comes from.”
Seton Hall improves to 33-17 on the year, while Rider falls to 16-29. The Pirates resume action on Friday, May 13 when they host the St. John’s Red Storm at Owen T. Carroll Field at home in South Orange.
Matthew Lapolla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.