Coming off a split double-header against Albany last weekend, Seton Hall traveled to Ohio to start a three-game series at Kent State.
The baseball team started strong out of the gate with a 4-0 lead in game one. Casey Dana, who has made his presence felt over the course of the season, sent Huntzinger home off a hit to left field, which was followed by a Thomas Holdorf homerun. Kent State was able to bounce back and bring Kent State within one by the bottom of the third inning.
Dana, who went 3-for-4 in this showing, put another run on the board in the fifth inning to give the Pirates stability with their lead. Scores in the sixth and eighth innings for the Pirates proved to be no match for the Golden Eagles, as they exploded for seven total runs in the sixth and seventh innings to put Kent State on top.
Tyler Burnham started this game and struck out four batters over the five innings he was on the mound. Strong offensive showings and an on-par pitching performance came short, though, as the Seton Hall baseball team dropped the first game of the series 10-7.
The baseball team fell behind early in game two on Saturday as the offense did not look alive. A solo homerun from Steve Grober and hits from Jerry Huntzinger and Matt Toke in the sixth inning gave the team some hope as they slowly clawed their way back from an 8-0 deficit. Their offensive resurrection was short-lived, however, as a four-run inning by Kent State put the Pirates away.
A homer from Mike Esposito sent three batters home and put the pirates within eight runs. This team has previously made strides in their late-game efforts, although this game was also taken by Kent State by a score of 12-4. Staus Pokrovsky had a strong showing at the plate, going 3-for-4, and solid pitching performances from Zane Probst and Aaron Groller were good signs despite the loss.
Despite the losses, the Pirates did not come back from the road trip empty-handed. The team struck early as Zack Sylvester hit a solo homerun that both put the Pirates ahead and gave him his first Seton Hall homerun. A Huntzinger sacrifice in the second inning gave Seton Hall an extra score, while Sylvester followed that up in his next at-bat with an RBI of his own to send Grober home. Dana added a score in the third inning off a wild pitch to cap off a strong stretch from the baseball team and gave them a 4-0 lead.
Kent State tied the game at four-a-piece with a two-run homerun at the bottom of the fourth inning and a single that sent two men home during the sixth inning. Casey started the seventh inning with a walk and Pokrovsky headed to second after a double.
With Casey in a position to put the Pirates ahead once again, senior Collin Sheehan made the most of his plate appearance. His homerun down the right field line gave Seton Hall a three-run lead and eventually gave way for a 7-4 win. Pitching proved to be the deciding factor in this game as David Festa stayed on the mound for a scoreless three innings and Chris Shine struck out four batters in just two innings.
A lopsided road trip ended on a high note and moved the Pirates to 3-7 on the season. Seton Hall was able to make its mark throughout the series and show that it can improve upon some of its weaknesses. The baseball team heads to Washington D.C. to face George Washington University in a three-game series on Friday.
Thomas Donnelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @_tommyd023.