The Seton Hall baseball team defeated Butler on Friday, 6-1, in the first game of a three-game series in Indianapolis, Ind., powered by a high-scoring second inning and dominant pitching.
Butler scored its only run at Bulldog Park in the first inning, with Gehrig Parker coming home from third base on an RBI-single from Connor Christman. The run gave Butler its only taste of the lead all game.
On the mound, Seton Hall’s Shane McCarthy, who improved to 3-3 with the win, kept his cool and got the Pirates out of the inning, affording them the chance to battle back in the second. Shane McCarthy played arguably his best game of the season for the Hall. He finished with four strikeouts and gave up six hits and one run over seven innings.
In the top of the second, the Pirates took total control of the game. Getting the offense started was Mike Alescio, who walked and then made it to second after a Ryan Ramiz single. Alescio and Ramiz each advanced a base on a groundout by Tyler Shedler-McAvoy, followed by a Casey Dana fly-out, in which Alescio tagged home when Bulldogs first baseman Connor Dall committed an error on the throw to the plate.
With the game tied, Christian Del Castillo singled down the left-field-line, and Ramiz hustled home for a 2-0 lead. The Pirates kept picking apart Butler’s defense, as Connor Hood reached first on a fielding error, while Del Castillo made it to third. The next batter, Rob Dadona, blasted a home run to left field, sending home Hood and Del Castillo to build a 5-1 lead for the Hall.
Butler starting pitcher Connor Mitchell, who fell to 3-3, could neither find his pitches or get help from his defense in his 4.1 innings of work. The Pirates’ ability to figure him out early helped them maintain the lead from the second inning to the end of the contest.
In the top of the sixth, Al Molina cranked a solo home run to left field for good measure, securing the Pirates a 6-1 victory. Butler then pulled Mitchell, who allowed six hits and six runs, three of them earned, with five strikeouts over 4.1 innings.
Corey Sawyer and Matt Leon pitched the final two innings for the Pirates, doing their part to stop any late surge from the Bulldogs.
Seton Hall’s Big East record improves to 3-1 with the win, moving the team to second place in the conference, while Butler stands at 4-2 in-conference and fourth place in the Big East. The Pirates will return to action at Bulldog Park on Saturday, April 21, at 2 p.m.
Bob Towey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BobTowey5.