The Seton Hall baseball team completed the series sweep over Butler on Saturday, defeating the Bulldogs 5-2 in Indianapolis to close out the 2016 season after clinching the third seed in the Big East Tournament on Friday.
The Pirates (38-18, 10-8 Big East) are now winners of five straight and used strong pitching yet again from Cullen Dana to secure Saturday’s victory. The freshman threw eight innings, allowing two runs on four hits, and striking out five batters. Dana improved his record to 7-2 on the season, and sophomore Chris Morris picked up his second save as well.
The game was relatively quiet for Seton Hall early on, and the team was playing from behind for most of the game, as the Pirates surrendered two early runs to Butler (14-40, 4-14 Big East). However, the Pirates fought back, scoring in the top of the fifth inning with an RBI double from senior Chris Chiaradio, and in the top of the eighth with an RBI single by junior Jackson Martin.
The turning point for Seton Hall was in the final inning. Tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth, the Pirate bats awoke, and better late than never. With the bases loaded, junior Mike Caputo recorded a sacrifice fly to break the tie, driving in Joe Poduslenko. Sophomore Ryan Ramiz recorded an infield single to score Mike Alescio in the at bat following, and then junior Rob Dadona singled to drive in Mikael-Ali Mogues to extend the lead to 5-2.
The Hall was led by Dana’s pitching, but still had the offense to back it up, especially come late in the game. Chiaradio went 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI, and Ramiz reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks, a run scored and an RBI. Alescio also was a stand out in Saturday’s game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.
Seton Hall will kick off postseason play on May 26 at the 2016 Big East Tournament when the third-seeded Pirates square off against No. 2 seed Creighton at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m.
Matt Lamb can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MattLammo