Seton Hall baseball’s struggles continue after losing three of four games to Cal Baptist and moving to 4-6 on the year.
After stealing the first game of their opening series at North Carolina and winning two games prior to the road trip, the Pirates were already off to a better start than last year and looking to continue this stretch of play. The Hall visited California Baptist for a four-game series.
The first game on Friday, ending in a 13-7 loss for Seton Hall, featured scoring in bunches from both teams, with the Pirates scoring all seven of their runs in the third and ninth innings, while the Lancers built their lead consecutively in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Pirates starting pitcher Brennan O’Neill allowed nine runs in three innings pitched, and the rest of the staff couldn’t shut California Baptist down.
California Baptist catcher Michael Carpentier effectively ended all hope of a pirates comeback, hitting a three-run home run to extend their lead to 10-4. Liam Rocha got the win, pitching seven innings and rebounding well after a rough fourth inning. Five players drove in at least one run, with first baseman Pat D’Amico driving in two on a double in the third inning.
Game two on Saturday became a pitchers’ duel, but resulted in a loss for The Hall, as the Lancers took the lead in the seventh and held onto it the rest of the way. Seton Hall once again started their scoring in the third, with D’Amico hitting a single down the left field line. The Pirates would score two more runs in the seventh, tying the game at 3-3. Overall, the pirates left eight runners on base over the course of the game.
Carpentier drove in his sixth and seventh runs in the series. Third baseman Mitchel Simon and first baseman Jake Skipworth drove in one run a piece. Starter Spencer Bengard allowed all three runs, while reliever Jacob Wilson shut the Pirates down over the last three innings to hand Seton Hall another loss.
Another slugfest ensued during the third match of the series, albeit a one-sided game. The Pirates put up five runs in the third inning, one in the fifth, and two runs in each of the final three innings. Every pirate in the starting lineup got on base and scored at some point in the game, with right fielder Max Viera putting on a show with three hits, stealing two bases, and scoring three times.
California Baptist starter Seth Mattox took the loss, allowing five runs, four hits and walking four batters. Pirates' freshman Cole Hansen got the win, pitching six innings while striking out six, as he picked up his first win of the season. Fellow freshman Michael Gillen came in and threw two shutout innings in relief, and senior Joe Cinnella finished the game.
The series finale on Tuesday, following a one-day break, was a competitive game until the end of the seventh inning, where California Baptist put up four runs and crushed The Hall’s hopes of splitting the series. Both teams emptied out their bullpens, as the Hall used eight total pitchers, while the Lancers used seven.
The brunt of the damage done by the Lancers came against reliever Alex Nicolosi, who allowed three runs on two hits. For the Pirates, Zack Sylvester hit his second home run of the year, while Viera was responsible for the rest of the runs, driving in two runs, while also scoring on a wild pitch.
The Pirates have one more series on the west coast road trip, as they will face the University of California, Santa Barbara before they play their first home game against the Monmouth University Hawks on Wednesday, March 4th at 4:00 pm.
John Misiewicz can be reached at email@example.com