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Pirates dominate Gaels to keep riding hot hand

The Seton Hall baseball team dominated the Iona Gaels, 14-3, on Sunday afternoon to extend the team’s streak to winning seven out of eight. The win brings the Pirates’ overall record to 10-13.

Christian Del Castillo got things started for the Pirates with a two-out triple in the top of the first. Matt Toke then drove Del Castillo home to give Seton Hall an early lead.

Toke later scored on an error to make it 2-0. However, Iona struck back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score at two. In the third inning, with Jerry Huntzinger on first, Del Castillo doubled down the right field line to score Huntzinger and retake the lead for the Pirates. In the fourth inning, the Pirates tacked on three more runs to extend their lead to 5-2.

Photo via SHU Athletics

In the fifth inning, the Pirates completely blew the hinges off the door of the game and ran away with it by scoring six runs. Tyler Shedler-McAvoy began the scoring with a two-RBI single that scored both Toke and Del Castillo. Steve Grober followed that at bat with an RBI double down the right field.

After an Iona pitching change, the Pirates continued to put on the pressure. Sebastiano Santorelli singled to right field to score Grober, who had previously advanced to third base on a passed ball. Alex Clyde finished the scoring for the inning with a two-RBI double to make the score 11-2.

In the eighth inning, Nick Dabrio and David Haberman scored on a Shedler-McAvoy triple, capping off a five-RBI day for the junior. Grober then smacked a single up the middle to score Shedler-McAvoy for the Pirates’ final run of the game.

On the mound for the Pirates, David Festa got the starting nod, going four innings, giving up three hits, two earned runs, and four strikeouts. Blake Espinal got the win in two innings of relief, striking out three and giving up no runs or hits.

The Pirates will look to keep their hot streak alive as they travel to nearby Fairleigh Dickinson to take on the Knights on April 2. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.

Joseph Ippolito can be reached at or on Twitter @joeippy.

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