The Seton Hall Pirates opened up their three-game series against the Georgetown Hoyas with an 11-2 victory on Friday night. With the win, the Pirates improved to 19-16 on the season and 3-4 in the Big East.
Shane McCarthy took the mound for the Pirates and went five full innings with no earned runs and seven strikeouts. After giving up two unearned runs through the first two innings, the junior right-hander settled down en route to his second win of the season.
“I was just trying to get the first guy of each inning,” McCarthy said. “I was able to finish hitters with my slider, so it was good to see that and I hope I can keep that going for weeks to come.”
The Pirates’ offense got contributions up and down the lineup as all nine Seton Hall starters reached base while combining for 14 hits in total. The Hall offense was led by Joe Poduslenko, Matt Fortin, Mike Caputo and Mike Alescio who each had two hits and two runs batted in. Matt Toke and Al Molina also knocked in one run apiece in the win. For the Hall, the 11 run output came on the heels of a two-game sweep of Rutgers which saw the Pirates plate a combined 19 runs. This has been a welcomed sight to the eyes of coach Rob Sheppard, who has seen this team struggle to score runs consistently at times.
“We’ve been preaching to our guys to stay aggressive early in the count and take advantage of the good pitches they’re getting to hit,” Sheppard said. “We’ve been really aggressive the past few games.”
With 11 games left in Big East play, Seton Hall still has some catching up to do if it wants to qualify for the Big East Tournament. Sheppard believes it will take a consistent offensive effort to get the job done.
“We’ve got to have the same approach,” Sheppard said. “Consistency is going to be the key for us to continue with the success we’ve had as of late.”
In relief, Matt Leon, Billy Layne Jr. and Matt Ponsiglione combined to throw the final four shutout innings while only allowing one hit and striking out six.
Sophomore Cullen Dana will get the start for the Pirates on Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to four games and take a 2-0 series lead against the Hoyas.
Nick Santoriello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NickSantoriello.