Pirates Drop Big East Championship OpenerDate: May 25, 2017
By: Matt Lapolla
OMAHA, Neb. -- The Seton Hall Pirates fell 4-1 to the Creighton Bluejays in the first game of the Big East Championship on Thursday night in Omaha, Neb.
The Pirates headed into the game as the No. 4 seed, squaring off against the regular season conference champion Bluejays. Zach Prendergast took the mound for the Hall, while Rollie Lacy had the start for Creighton.
Prendergast looked strong in the first two innings, setting down eight straight batters to start the game before hitting his first roadblock in the bottom of the third. A two-out single from Jason Allbery and back-to-back walks from Clark Brinkman and Isaac Collins loaded the bases, but Prendergast was able to force Thomas Luevano to ground out and escape danger.
The Bluejays were able to strike first in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Allbery reached on a leadoff walk, Brinkman drilled a home run to left field and put Creighton ahead, 2-0. Prendergast then induced two groundouts and a strikeout following the home run, but the damage was done and Seton Hall was forced to play from behind.
The Pirates were able to answer right back and got a run on the board in the top of the sixth. Matt Toke led off the inning with a single up the middle, and was able to advance to second after Matt Fortin grounded into a fielder's choice. Two batters later, Mike Alescio hit a ground ball to the shortstop Luevano. The throw to first base sailed over the head of Allbery, and Toke was able to score from second base.
The Bluejays refused to give up the lead, and were able to add a few key insurance runs in the later innings. After a two-out single by Riley Landuyt in the bottom of the sixth, Bryce Only laced a triple to right center to bring in a third Creighton run. Landuyt was able to bring in a run of his own in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out RBI double to left field, extending the Bluejays' lead to 4-1.
Ethan DeCaster took over for Lacy in the top of the eighth and sent down the Pirates in order in to close out the game, securing the victory for Creighton.
With the loss, Seton Hall is forced into an elimination game against the St. John's Red Storm. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m. EDT at TD Ameritrade Park.
Matt Lapolla can be reached at email@example.com.