Offensive Outburst Powers Pirates Past VillanovaDate: May 12, 2017
By: Michael Lovero
The bats have not been around for Seton Hall baseball most of the season, but a season high 18-hit game lifted the Pirates over Villanova 9-1 for the first game of the series.
The Pirates came into the game 7-8 in conference play and sat in 4th place over the 5th place Wildcats. Seton Hall had to travel to Villanova for the last Big East series for the Pirates; a series victory would put Villanova out of contention for a Big East Championship position.
Head coach Rob Sheppard looked to Chris Morris for the first game of the series. Morris struggled with command early in the first inning, and hit Ryan Toohers with the bases loaded to give Villanova an early lead. However, that would be the only run Morris would let up. He was able to settle down and finished with five innings pitched, six walks, seven strikeouts, while only letting up one hit and one run. He lowered his ERA to 3.31 and collected the win to move to 2-2 on the season.
Seton Hall's offense came alive for the first game of the series, behind the bats of Ryan Ramiz and Mike Caputo. Caputo answered the Wildcats after two straight two-out walks in the top of the second inning. A two-out double drove in two runs for the Pirates; this would serve as the go-ahead hit for Hall. Caputo finished the game 2-for-5 with a double, three runs batted in, and two runs scored. Jackson Martin would add to the lead with an RBI base hit in the second inning as well.
Joe Poduslenko delivered an RBI double in the fourth inning to extend the Pirates' lead to 4-1. The senior third baseman finished the game 2-for-5 with two doubles and a run batted in.
In his fifth start of the season as the designated hitter, Sebastiano Santorelli produced with an RBI single in the top of the 5th inning. Santorelli finished the day 1-for-3 with a run batted in.
Matt Fortin and Al Molina would also add runs themselves later in the game to cap off a 9-run performance for the Pirates, which is the most the Pirates have scored in a road conference game all season.
Andrew Politi and Ryan Testani combined for 4 innings pitched in relief, giving up no runs and one hit. Politi struck out five Wildcats in the two innings he worked and escaped a sixth inning, bases loaded jam unscathed.
Ramiz had himself a four-hit game by going 4-for-6 at the plate with two doubles and a run scored.
Eight of the Pirates' 18 hits were doubles. Ramiz and Poduslenko led the way with two doubles each, while Fortin, Molina, Alescio, and Caputo each had one.
A series victory for the Pirates would put Villanova out of contention for the Big East Championship. A series sweep would clinch Seton Hall a spot into the Big East Championship, which will begin on May 25th at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Pirates which will be back in action on Saturday when the play the second of a three-game series with Villanova at 1 PM Eastern time. Rain is in the forecast, however which could lead to a doubleheader on Sunday. Coverage on Saturday will begin around 12:50 PM ET on 89.5 WSOU, also available on the iHeartRadio app.
Mike Lovero can be reached by email at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org and found on Twitter @mlovero30.