The Seton Hall baseball team was defeated on Friday, Feb. 23 by the University of South Carolina Upstate, 12-1, in the first game of the USC Upstate-Wofford Tournament in Spartanburg, S.C.
Even with the season only four games old, the Pirates may not have a worse day in the field for the rest of the spring, as they committed a season-high five errors. The suspect fielding allowed for a USC Upstate team – which had the same number of hits as Seton Hall – to win by a comfortable 11-run margin.
The Spartans set the tone for the game at the onset, getting on the board with only their second at-bat, an RBI-triple for Pat Raiff. Pirates starter Shane McCarthy was not helped by his defense, as the starter fell behind 3-0 in the first, with only one of those runs earned. USC Upstate accomplished its early offense by having six batters reach base during the inning.
McCarthy was able to get through the second unscathed; however, the Spartans once again scored in the third to bump their lead to 4-0, and extend their dominance further to 6-0 in the fourth. McCarthy took the loss – his second in two starts – as the preseason All-Big East pitcher allowed five hits, two walks and six runs, with four of the runs earned.
Noah Thompson came in relief of McCarthy and got through the fifth. But in the sixth, the 6-foot 4-inch right-hander gave up an unearned run and recorded just one out before manager Rob Sheppard once again gave a call to his bullpen, with all the bases occupied.
Hunter Waldis was given the nod from Sheppard, but the game continued to slip out of the Pirates’ hands. On the first batter the freshman Waldis faced, Spartan catcher Charlie Carpenter seized the opportunity and unloaded a grand slam to centerfield to bring the score to 11-0 in favor of USC Upstate. The Spartans added their 12th and final run in the seventh, before the Pirates were able to get their lone run on the board.
In the eighth inning, centerfielder Ryan Ramiz grounded into a fielder’s choice to give Seton Hall its first run of the day, bringing the game to 12-1. The game was somewhat of a milestone for the senior centerfielder, as Ramiz passed 500 collegiate at-bats.
Lefthander Matt Ponsiglione was the only pitcher for the Pirates to not give up a run, as the junior did not even allow a baserunner in his 1.1 innings of work.
The Pirates will look to improve their 1-3 record on Saturday, Feb. 24 as they continue tournament play at 1 p.m. against Wofford.
Robert Fallo can be reached at email@example.com.