Seton Hall baseball handles Lafayette, 7-1Date: May 2, 2019
By Erin Kelly
Dominant pitching and a perfect game until the seventh inning from Nick Payeo led the Seton Hall Pirates to a 7-1 win over the Lafayette Leopards Wednesday afternoon.
Making his fourth start of the season, freshman Nick Payero took the mound, pitching 6.2 innings. The righty had a perfect game for most of his outing, not allowing a base runner until the seventh inning. In his efforts, Payero had five 1-2-3 innings, until walking a batter in the sixth. Payero wasn’t the only pitching force for the Pirates, as Tyler Burnham finished off the seventh keeping the no-hitter intact; however, the no-hitter ended in the eighth inning with a Lafayette single.
While pitching kept the Leopards off the board, the Pirates offense surged. After leaving Connor Hood on base in the second, the Pirates struck in the third. Chris Villa started the top of the third with a single, followed by a double from Jerry Huntzinger. Reigning Big East Player of the Week Tyler Shedler-McAvoy brought both runners across the plate with a single, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
The Pirates kept the bats hot in the following inning, with freshman Steve Grober driving in Sebastiano Santorelli who walked and advanced to second on a pickoff attempt. After a pitching change ended the afternoon for Lafayette’s Ethan O’Connor, the Pirates still kept the bats going.
With the new pitcher Tyler Faccenda, Mike Esposito singled and stole second. After a walk by Huntzinger, Shelder-McAvoy hit another RBI single driving in Grober and making it 4-0 in favor of the Pirates. Grober would step up to the plate again in the fifth inning, driving in Hood and Santorelli on a single making it a 6-0 game. The Pirates final run came in the seventh inning, due to a sac-fly from Connor Hood to score Santorelli, who had walked and advanced his way to third on a throwing error on Lafayette’s pitcher and a wild pitch.
In the seventh inning, Payero’s perfect game ended with a walk to Lafayette’s Justin Johnson. A throwing error from Payero, a passed ball, and an error from the third baseman Casey Dana, allowed Johnson to score, making it a 7-1 game.
The pitching staff finished the game giving up only two hits, one run, and one walk while striking out eight. Payero earned his second win of the season, improving his record to 2-1. Big East Player of the Week Shelder-McAvoy lived up to the title, going 3-4 with three RBIs. Grober went 2-4, driving in three and coming around to score once.
The Pirates improve to 20-22 overall, standing at fourth in the Big East. They will travel to Ohio this weekend to take on top dog Xavier for a three-game series.
Erin Kelly can be reached at email@example.com.