The Seton Hall Pirates baseball team defeated the Manhattan College Jaspers 7-3 on Saturday, March 18 in the second game of the Strike Out Cancer Classic at Owen T. Carroll Field.
Originally slated to play the Brown University Bears at 3 p.m., inclement weather forced a schedule change where the Pirates instead faced the Jaspers at 2 p.m. Seton Hall defeated Manhattan the previous day by a score of 7-2.
Manhattan got off to a hot start in the first inning. After loading the bases on three consecutive singles, Jason Patnick of the Jaspers hit a sacrifice play to bring in Fabian Pena to put the Jaspers ahead 1-0. Manhattan’s starter, Tom Cosgrove, looked strong in the opening frames. Through three innings, the lefty had allowed only two hits while striking out eight.
Seton Hall’s offense awoke in the fourth inning thanks to Ryan Ramiz. With no outs and Joe Poduslenko on first, Ramiz hit an RBI triple to deep center field to tie the game at one. The junior scored on a passed ball just a few pitches later, giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead at the end of the fourth. A Poduslenko sacrifice fly in the fifth inning plated Mike Alescio, extending the Seton Hall lead to 3-1.
The Jaspers refused to go down without a fight, and they fought back to tie the game in the top of the sixth. A RBI single from Matt Forlow brought in Evan Brown, and three batters later Forlow scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly from Dominic Palma.
The Pirates responded with an offensive outburst in the bottom of the eighth to surge ahead to a 7-3 lead. Three consecutive singles from Alescio, Matt Toke and Chris Villa allowed the Pirates to jump ahead by three runs. A double by Rob Dadona brought in the fourth Pirate run of the inning, capping off their late rally. The Jaspers could not mount a comeback in the top of the ninth as Seton Hall secured their second straight victory.
“We stayed mentally tough,” coach Rob Sheppard said following the victory. “Manhattan’s pitcher was throwing really well and our guys stayed on point with having quality AB’s. They did a good job of getting on base and letting the lineup work.”
The weather was certainly a factor in the matchup, with temperatures in the early 30’s, strong winds and a mix of rain and snow. Sheppard said that the inclement weather did not affect his players in the slightest.
“They’re tough and they know that if both teams have to play in it, then they can’t make an excuse,” Sheppard said. “Once you start to think about things outside of your control, you’re in trouble.”
Seton Hall improves to 9-8 on the season, while Manhattan falls to 2-11. The Pirates resume action on Sunday, March 18 when it hosts the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in the third game of the Strike Out Cancer Classic. Shane McCarthy is the expected starter for the Hall, and first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Matt Lapolla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MatthewLapolla.