The Seton Hall Pirates baseball team traveled to San Diego, Cal., to take part in the Tony Gwynn Classic where they opened up against the Tennessee Volunteers in a 12-5 loss.
A quick start for the Volunteers, who scored 11 runs over the first five innings, proved to be too much as the Pirates dropped to 2-3 on the young season.
On the mound for the Pirates, junior right-hander Shane McCarthy struggled, only going three-plus innings while giving up seven earned runs on nine hits and one walk.
Following a scoreless inning and a half, the Volunteers jumped on McCarthy for three runs in the home half of the second. After a soft single by Andre Lipcius to start the inning, the Volunteers followed up with RBIs on a Pete Derkay triple, a Dom Thorton double and a Brodie Leftridge single.
The Volunteers continued where they left off in the bottom half of the third, tacking on two more runs on a Benito Santiago triple. McCarthy was able to work out of a jam with two strikeouts and a caught stealing to end the inning.
Making only his second career appearance, freshman Noah Thompson still had some rookie jitters as he tried to put out the fire in the bottom of the fourth. Thompson allowed five more runs to come in on three hits, two walks and a wild pitch to make the score 10-0 after four. Santiago highlighted the inning with a 2-run home run to right field.
The Pirates were finally able to get on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth with a two-out single by left fielder Rob Dadona that knocked in Jackson Martin. Consecutive singles by Ryan Ramiz and Al Molina loaded the bases allowing reigning Big East Player of the Week, Joe Poduslenko, to draw a walk for his sixth RBI on the year.
The relentless Tennessee team answered back immediately in the bottom half of the inning with a Jordan Rodgers RBI single off Pirates’ relief pitcher Matt Leon to increase the lead to 11-2.
Tennessee senior starter Hunter Martin had an impressive day on the bump going five strong while giving up two earned runs on six hits and an outstanding nine strikeouts.
The Hall was able to scratch across one more in the top of the seventh on a RBI groundout by Molina to score Dadona following a wild pitch.
The two teams traded runs in the eighth inning. In the top half, sophomore Liam McArthur got his first hit of the season to knock in Martin for his second run of the game. Freshman Rick Devito ran into a bit of trouble after walking the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the eight. A passed ball on a strikeout allowed the only Volunteer run to score off of Devito who continued his solid start to the campaign with two strong innings of no-hit ball and four K’s.
The Pirates were led offensively by Poduslenko who went 3-3 with two singles and a triple to go with two walks and a run batted in.
Seton Hall will play two more games in the Tony Gwynn Classic starting with a matchup against Oregon Saturday at 1 p.m.
Nick Santoriello can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NickSantoriello.