Prendergast Goes the Distance in Win over CreightonDate: May 7, 2017
By: Alex Melillo
South Orange, NJ – Seton Hall blanks Creighton 1-0 behind a complete game shutout from senior Zach Prendergast. The Pirates win the third and final game of the three game weekend series after dropping the first two.
On his 22nd birthday, senior RHP Zack Prendergast (Horsham, PA) took to the mound knowing he had to give his team a solid start. With the Big East Tournament still in their sights, Prendergast had to stop the bleeding for his team, who had just dropped the first game of the double header on Saturday afternoon.
Through two innings it was clear that there was a pitching duel going on. Prendergast and his counterpart, junior RHP Keith Rogalla (Oak Park, Ill.), traded scoreless frames, with Prendergast fanning a pair through two.
In the bottom of the third inning, Seton Hall would hang their first and the game's only run on the afternoon. Senior OF Jackson Martin (College Park, PA.) started the inning by ripping a double down the right field line, giving Seton their first hit of the game. After a strikeout by freshman OF Tyler Shedler- McAvoy (Allendale, N.J.), junior OF Ryan Ramiz (Freehold, N.J.) stroked a fastball straight up the middle past a pair of diving Blue Jay infielders for a base hit. Ramiz's single would score Martin from second and give Seton Hall the early 1-0 lead over the visiting Creighton Blue Jays.
In the bottom half of the third, Prendergast would flirt with danger by giving up back to back base knocks. But, a fielder's choice and a routine ground ball out to the second baseman would get the Pirates out of harm's way and send the game to the fourth inning, with Seton Hall still leading.
Innings four through seven would continue to be a pitching battle as Prendergast recorded four strikeouts in that span compared to Rogallo's three. In the top of the eighth, with Seton Hall still clinging to the slim 1-0 lead, Prendergast would take to the mound. After a 6-3 putout to start the inning, Creighton's sophomore OF Clark Brinkman (Addison, Ill.) would send a screamer out to deep left field that would rocket off the foul pole, in play for a double. Prendergast would continue to have the answers on the afternoon as a ground out and a fly out to left would end the trouble and keep the lead intact for the Pirates.
On to finish what he started, Prendergast was staring a complete game shutout right in the face but would have to get through the heart of Creighton's order to accomplish it. A fly out to right and a strikeout would get Creighton down to their final out of the game. Yet a single to right delayed the celebration just a bit allowing freshman Jason Albery (Omaha, Neb.) to have a chance at spoiling the party for the Pirates and completing the sweep for the Blue Jays. Up over 100 pitches, Prendergast used an 89 mph fastball to get ahead of Albery early in the at bat. The senior then threw an 85 mph changeup, his 106th pitch on the outing, to get Albery to roll over one to second for the final out of the game.
The final stat line for Prendergast on the afternoon: 9.0 innings, 7 hits, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk and 0 runs while stranding seven base runners. Seton Hall as a team would muster just one run to support their senior ace on five hits and three walks, highlighted by Jackson Martin's double and Ryan Ramiz's RBI single in the third.
Final Score: Seton Hall- 1 Creighton-0
Seton Hall currently sits in the fourth and final spot for the Big East Tournament with a 7-8 record in conference play. Butler, the closest team chasing the Pirates for the fourth spot, won Saturday afternoon as well with a 4-1 win over the Villanova Wildcats. Seton Hall have a matinee matchup against in state foe, the Rider Broncs, before heading out to Villanova for a three game series to conclude the Big East regular season.