A third inning rally helped the Pirates take the rubber game of the series against Creighton, as they defeated the Bluejays by a final score of 3-0.
The positive momentum on the mound from Saturday’s victory over Creighton carried over into Sunday afternoon. Between starter Billy Lane Jr. and closer Matt Leon, the Pirates only gave up three hits to a usually potent Creighton offense. Lane was dominant for the Pirates, throwing 8.1 innings of two-hit, 11-strikeout ball.
At the plate for the Pirates, the top of the lineup provided the spark for Seton Hall. All three of its runs were scored in the third inning and the rally was started in a painful way by first baseman Connor Hood. On a 1-1 count, Creighton starter Preston Church struck Hood with a pitch. After moving to second on a sacrifice, Tyler Shedler-McAvoy drove Hood in with a single to make the game 1-0.
With two outs in the inning, shortstop Al Molina then stepped to the plate for the Pirates with Shedler-McAvoy still on first. He delivered his share of offensive production by smashing a home run to left field, giving the Pirates their 3-0 advantage that would stick to the end.
Lane took his complete game bid all the way into the ninth inning, but was pulled after throwing 111 pitches in his winning effort. Leon was called from the bullpen, and although he allowed a single, was able to pull through for the Pirates to close out the game for his ninth save of the season.
With the win, the Pirates improved to 10-2 in conference play this season and clinched a spot in the Big East Tournament. They’ll take on Rider at home on Tuesday, May 8, at 4 pm before conference-leading St. John’s comes to South Orange for a crucial three-game series over the weekend.
Dalton Allison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DaltonAllison4.