Following a one-run effort in a 13-inning defeat on Thursday night, the Seton Hall bats made history on Friday afternoon, driving in a Big East Tournament-record 21 runs in a first-round elimination game victory over Georgetown.
The victory ends a six-game losing streak for the Pirates in the Big East Tournament. Seton Hall will face the losing side in the St. John’s-Butler semifinal, in a second-round elimination game that is scheduled for Saturday.
The offense came in spite of the fact that the Pirates and Hoyas handed the ball to their starters with the lowest ERA, a conference-best 1.33 in the case of Ricky DeVito from Seton Hall, and a 1.91 in the case of Jeremiah Burke from Butler.
DeVito allowed a run in the first inning, which brought back shades of Thursday night, as Pirate shortstop Al Molina was charged with an error that led to the score. Further pulling back memories of the night before, Molina ripped a line drive in the bottom of the first, pulling the game even at 1-1.
Unlike Thursday, though, the offense only intensified, as the Pirate hitters showed off their desperation to continue playing. Every Seton Hall starter reached base twice, with six starters having at least two hits, and four ending up with three. Fittingly, the team ended the game with 21 hits as a unit. The Pirates’ patience and eyes were also sharp, as eight batters ended up reaching on walks, contributing to a team total of 10 walks.
Toke, who missed most of the season due to injury, provided the most runs for the team, bringing in five RBIs in a 3-for-4 outing, in which he registered a double, home run and walk.
Coming off a 13-inning catching shift less than 24 hours prior, Mike Alescio persevered behind the plate for six innings, adding three hits and four RBIs to the unforgettable offensive performance. Teammates Rob Dadona and Sebastiano Santorelli also had three hits, while Ryan Ramiz drove in three runs.
Seton Hall’s scoring was constant, as the second-seeded Pirates only came out of an inning empty-handed once. The Pirates scored more than half their runs in two sizeable innings, the second and sixth, in which they plated six runs in each.
DeVito earned the win for his six-inning performance, in which he gave up three hits and four earned runs, striking out six. There was a heated exchange of words between DeVito and the Georgetown bench in the fourth inning, following a three-run home run from the Hoyas’ Michael DeRenzi; however, the right-handed pitcher settled down and threw two scoreless innings to finish his outing.
Dylan Verdonk and Blake Espinal managed the final three innings on the mound, as the Pirates were able to rest some of their bullpen arms, ahead of what will be a second straight elimination game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Robert Fallo can be reached at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @robert_fallo.