After giving up 12 runs in its first two games in the USC Upstate-Wofford Tournament, the Seton Hall baseball team shutout the Pittsburgh Panthers, 1-0, on Saturday night in the final match of the series in Spartanburg, S.C.
The Hall was led by a strong six-inning outing by starting pitcher Rick DeVito, as the sophomore right-hander struck out seven while allowing only three hits, two walks, and no runs in his six innings of work.
Pittsburgh’s Blair Clavo also had a strong start, throwing six solid frames of no-run ball, with eight strikeouts of his own.
With both starting pitchers exited and the game still scoreless after six innings, the Pirates jumped on the board first in the seventh inning and used their loan run to hold out the former Big East opponent.
Casey Dana worked a walk to lead off the inning, and Ryan Ramiz reached safely on a throwing error by Panthers pitcher Chase Smith. Chris Villa then came up to the plate, with Dana in scoring position, and a chance to break open the deadlocked game.
Although, Villa did not even have to make the big hit, as chaos ensued after another wayward throw by Smith. Dana, leading off second, thought about stealing after a wild pitch from Smith but stayed in his spot after Panthers catcher Cole MacLaren came up with the ball. However, with a keen eye on Dana, MacLaren threw the ball to second, and the ball clanked off of Dana’s helmet, allowing the Pirate freshman to score the winning run.
With offense at a premium, Mike Alescio went 3-for-4 with three hits, as the senior from Fair Haven, N.J. accounted for 60 percent of the Pirates hits.
The one run was all the Pirates needed, as the Pirates bullpen finished the job. Corey Sawyer threw two perfect innings, while Matt Leon allowed two hits in the ninth before ultimately closing out the win.
The Pirates improve to 2-4 with the win, and will return home before traveling to Kissimmee, Fla. to play three games in the Kissimmee Irish Classic against the University of Seattle, Notre Dame, and Youngstown State, beginning on Friday, Mar. 2.
Andrea Keppler can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @keppler_andrea.