The Seton Hall baseball team spent the entirety of its spring break on the field in Florida, traveling from Kissimmee to Boca Raton, where the Pirates competed in seven games from March 2-11. The seventh and final game took place on Sunday afternoon, with the Pirates falling to the Florida Atlantic Owls, 10-0.
What led to the Pirates’ demise on Saturday was a disastrous start in which Seton Hall allowed 10 runs in the opening three innings, and on Sunday, very little changed.
Noah Thompson got the start for the Pirates, but did not record any innings pitched against the Owls. The sophomore Thompson gave up four earned runs before an out was even recorded in the bottom of the first inning, as he was pulled with three runs surrendered and no outs.
Blake Espinal entered in relief for Thompson and was able to stop Florida Atlantic from inflicting the same amount of early-game damage it had done the day before. Espinal quickly generated a double play, but a run came home as a result. Espinal pitched scoreless third, fourth and fifth innings thereafter, and all told, Espinal pitched 5.2 frames in which he allowed five runs; however, only two of them were earned.
The Owls utilized small-ball tactics the first few innings, but the small-ball strategy led to big-run totals on the scoreboard. David Miranda, Pedro Pages and Eric Rivera all drove in runs with RBI-singles during the first inning, while a triple from Joe Montes in the second inning tacked on another run.
The Owls’ starter Vince Coletti went five strong frames for the win, with four strikeouts, four hits and no runs. Florida Atlantic’s bullpen held the Pirates to one hit and one walk over the remaining four innings.
Rob Dadona entered the day with the clubhouse lead in batting average among starters, and Dadona was the only Seton Hall player to record multiple hits. Dadona went 2-for-4 on the day, as his average climbs to .395. His teammates were unable to make the same kind of contact at the plate.
Florida Atlantic outfielder Diamond Johnson provided additional support to the Owls’ offense with a three-run homerun to left field in the bottom of the sixth that clinched the weekend sweep.
Seton Hall drops to 5-8 overall with the loss, and will now travel home for what has been scheduled as a game against Saint Peter’s on Wednesday, March 14, at Owen T. Carroll Field. It remains to be seen if recent weather has affected that contest.
Andrea Keppler can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @keppler_andrea.