Five-run swing in the fifth spells the end for Seton Hall
The Seton Hall baseball team were defeated by the Wofford Terriers, 12-5, in the first game of its doubleheader on Saturday in Spartanburg, S.C.
The Pirates led 2-1 entering the fifth, but left trailing 6-2 and without their starting pitcher. What seemed like it was going to be a close game, turned into a dominant Terriers victory.
Andrew Politi started on the mound for the Pirates, entering the game with a 0-1 record and 5.79 ERA. Politi lined up against Austin Higginbotham for Wofford, who came in with a 0-1 record as well, to go along with a 3.00 ERA.
Wofford got on the board first in the bottom half of the first inning, although the damage could have been worse. The inning started for the Pirates with three of the first four batters walked, setting up a one-out, bases-loaded situation. The Terriers scored their lone run on a balk by Politi, but the Pirates starter was able to escape the inning after that.
The Pirates struck right back in the top half of the second, as Rob Dadona put a ball into the right-centerfield gap to tie the game at one. The inning started with Al Molina reaching on an error, and Molina advanced to second following a bunt single from Sebastian Santorelli, which set up Dadona for his RBI-single.
With Politi able to get through the second, the Pirates added to their advantage, thanks to mistake after mistake from the Terriers defense. Christian Del Castillo started the scoring situation by reaching on an error, and Mike Alescio added to the baserunners by legging out an infield single. The Pirates later loaded the bases when Matt Toke was walked, and not long after, Del Castillo scored on a wild pitch.
However, Seton Hall could not get another run across the plate after that, as two groundballs spelled the end of the scoring threat for the Pirates. A couple innings later, the Terriers put five on the board and took a 6-2 lead, the likes of which the side from South Orange never recovered.
Lawson Hill got the fifth inning started for the Terriers with a double to right, and a sacrifice bunt thereafter put him on third with one out. Politi began to lose his control after that, as he hit the next batter and allowed an RBI-single on the following one. The right-hander then allowed another run on a groundout, before walking his final batter of the day.
Tyler Burnham came on in relief and allowed three more singles before recording the final two outs. Politi was charged with all 6 runs that crossed the plate in the first five innings, as the redshirt junior pitched 4.1 innings.
The Terriers added more insurance in the seventh inning by using methodical hits to score three runs, before a McClain Bradley three-run home run gave them a 12-2 lead.
The Pirates made it 12-5 in the top of the ninth on a Casey Dana three-run home run before being retired in their first of two games on Saturday.
Connor Hester can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @connor_hester31.