Four-run first inning propels baseball to victory over metro foe Wagner
The Seton Hall baseball team split their mid-week matchups this week, blowing out the Wagner Seahawks, 9-1, on Wednesday afternoon, and losing 5-4 in extra innings to the Princeton Tigers on Tuesday. The Pirates move to 17-15 on the season.
Against Wagner, the Pirates got on the board early, scoring four runs in the first inning and never looking back.
Junior shortstop Giuseppe Papaccio started the scoring, driving in junior second baseman Mike Genovese and advancing senior right fielder Will Walsh to third.
The next batter, junior left fielder Ryan Sullivan, grounded out to second, but Walsh scored on the throw to first.
Freshman first baseman Sal Annunziata doubled down to left field, bringing Papaccio home.
Senior designated hitter Dale Anderson then reached on an infield single, but a throwing error by the Seahawks’ second baseman allowed Annunziata to score, giving the Pirates a 4-0 lead.
Wagner’s lone run came in the top of the fourth after Seton Hall transfer shortstop Eddie Brown scored when sophomore catcher Dillon Hamlin dropped a relay throw from Papaccio.
The Pirates scored one run each in the fifth and sixth innings to take a commanding 9-1 lead.
Head coach Rob Sheppard said despite the Pirates win, they must continue to perform offensively like they did on Wednesday.
“We got to continue to work hard. The guys are really putting the time in and we have to give credit to our players,” Sheppard said. “They have a really great work ethic and continue to work hard. It’s definitely something we feel will get stronger as the season goes on. “
Every Pirate starter besides Hamlin recorded a hit. Papaccio, Annunziata, Anderson and Ruhlman all recorded multiple hits.
On Tuesday at Princeton, the Pirates lost in the bottom of the 10th inning after Tigers’ first baseman Mike Ford singled to left center, driving in shortstop Matt Bowman.
Princeton got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning after a series of miscues from the Pirates. Ford reached second on an error from Ruhlman.
After advancing to third on a groundout, Ford scored after a balk from freshman pitcher Connor Krauss, who was making his first career start.
The Pirates tied the game in their half of the fourth inning after Papaccio smacked a homerun over the scoreboard at Clarke Field for his second of the season.
In the top of the fifth, the Pirates took their first lead of the game after Walsh belted a home run to right centerfield to make it 3-2.
The two homeruns matched the Pirates’ season total.
The Pirates answered in the top of the ninth after freshman Kyle Grimm came in to pinch hit for freshman catcher Tyler Boyd, and singled to left field. Ruhlman then singled to left, bringing up redshirt-freshman John Beaubien to pinch hit for centerfielder Zack Granite.
Beaubien reached base on an error from third baseman Johnathan York.
Ruhlman then scored on a wild pitch from Nick Donatiello.
In the bottom of the 10th, Ford, who was struggling with an apparent shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the game, singled into right field to drive in the game-winning run to take the game, 5-4.
During the game, the Pirates were 1-for-11 with two outs, and 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Conversely, the Pirates went 7-for-13 with two outs and were 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position against Wagner.
“I think after the game the guys realized we had a good roll going and we wanted to get back on it,” Sheppard said. “(Wednesday) was an opportunity for us to do it and we took advantage of it.”
T.J. Brennan can be reached at email@example.com.