Bats come alive in baseball’s 16-7 win over NYIT
An offensive explosion of 14 hits and 16 runs led the Pirates to a 16-7 victory over NYIT on Tuesday afternoon. This is the second straight game in which the Big East’s worst hitting team recorded over 14 hits after a 19-hit game on Sunday against Louisville. “We had 19 hits I think on Sunday, and then we just wanted to continue that,” junior Mike Genovese said. “We hit the ball well all weekend, and the hitting was struggling all year. We just got to continue it into the weekend.” Part of the Hall’s offensive success came from the lead-off batter getting on base in six of the eight innings the Pirates came to the plate, leading to five runs. “Whenever you get the lead-off runner on base in an inning, it allows you to do multiple things on offense, and you open up some holes for the hitter behind him,” head coach Rob Sheppard said. The bats started in the first inning for the Pirates after falling down 1-0 in the top of the first. With senior Dale Anderson already scoring on a single from Genovese, freshman Sal Annunziata came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Annunziata took the pitch from NYIT’s freshman Michael Auriemmo to deep left field over the outfielder’s head to the wall, clearing the bases in the process and ending up sliding into third. The triple gave the Hall the 4-1 lead. “It was good to answer right away,” Sheppard said. “We did a nice job of getting that run back right away and we did that throughout the game when they scored. We were able to come back right away.” With the Bears fighting back to make it 4-3 heading into the bottom of the second, the Pirates responded once again. Junior Ryan Sullivan drove in two for the Pirates with his single to right, but once again the big hit came from Annunziata despite not counting. With two outs and Sullivan standing on first, Annunziata hit a long fly ball to left field that easily cleared the outfield fence, but was ruled foul by the home plate umpire leaving the Seton Hall dugout stunned. The Hall put across at least two runs an inning through the first four innings to jump out to the 11-5 lead. NYIT appeared to be making their comeback in the seventh inning with two runs across and the bases loaded with only one out. Senior Ryan Campbell hit a soft line drive into right field directly at senior Will Walsh. Walsh got behind the ball and caught it with his momentum going forward as sophomore Matt DiBiase was tagging-up from third. Walsh’s throw from right field reached the plate on one bounce where freshman catcher Tyler Boyd applied the tag to end the inning with the 9-2 double play and the score 12-7. The play brought controversy as the Bears thought that DiBase slid in under the tag causing head coach Mike Mac Millan to come out of the dugout and argue the call. Mac Millan got ejected by the home plate umpire for continuing to argue the call. “From my stand point, from the third base dugout, it looked like he was out, but it’s a bang-bang play,” Sheppard said. “Tyler Boyd did a good job with deking him, acting like there was no throw when the throw was right on the money.” Senior Benny Mejia came into the game in the ninth inning to finish off the Pirates’ 20th victory of the season after allowing only a leadoff hit in the ninth. The Pirates will face Villanova on Friday to continue Big East play. Stephen Valenti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.