Payero struggles, Pirates fall at FIU 10-7Date: March 9, 2019
By Ben Harris
In the second game of a three-game series, Seton Hall lost to Florida International University 10-7 down in Miami.
Despite very consistent run support, the Pirates could not overcome FIU’s early lead caused by a five-run second inning. Starting pitcher Nick Payero started the inning by walking the first batter and then immediately allowing Lorenzo Hampton to hit a 2-0 pitch over the wall to go down 2-1. The inning continued for Payero with two straight walks, a wild pitch, a hit, and another walk before he was pulled in exchange for Cole Patten. Patten couldn’t clean up the mess Payero created, allowing three runs to score before escaping to the third inning.
The Hall did their best to catch-up after going down big in the second, proceeding to score in four straight innings making the game a closer 7-6 after the sixth inning. The runs came from an assortment of Pirates as Jerry Huntzinger singled in Sebastian Santorelli in the third, and Christian Del Castillo scored on an error in the fourth. These were followed by Connor Hood singling in Casey Dana in the fourth, and Alex Clyde knocking in Tyler Shedler-McAvoy in the fifth.
Unfortunately, in the bottom of the seventh, FIU decided to pull away for the final time. Cory Sawyer walked two straight batters while the bases were loaded to make it 9-6 FIU. Two at-bats later, FIU’s Derek Cartaya popped a sac-fly to right field allowing Austin Shenton to score, making the score 10-6.
The Pirates had two more chances to take the lead, but their final run came in the eighth inning as Alex Clyde hit a sacrifice fly to center field, letting Steve Grober reach home. It was too little, too late for the Pirates.
The statistical leaders for Seton Hall in this matchup were Shedler-McAvoy with three hits, Santorelli with two stolen bases, and Clyde tied with Huntzinger for RBI with two each. Payero received the loss for the Pirates as FIU’s Greyson Fletcher got the win, and Gio Santos made the ninth inning save.
Seton Hall will play the final game of the three game series with Florida International today, at noon in Miami, Florida. This game brings the Pirates record to 1-8, while FIU rises to 8-6, which is one of the best records in Conference USA.
Ben Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.