Seton Hall earns 7-5 victory over Villanova on day after Sheppard passingDate: April 7, 2019
By Wilnir Louis
An emotional day for the Seton Hall baseball community ended in winning fashion at Plymouth Meeting in Pennsylvania.
In a matchup on the day after Mike Sheppard Sr.'s passing, head coach Rob Sheppard and his baseball team never lost their hustle, and defeated the Villanova Wildcats 7-5 in extra innings.
The first inning was quiet for both teams, as both starting pitchers faced three batters and got three outs early on. The second inning was just as well for Noah Thompson, as he was able to strike out two of the three batters in the inning and enter the third with the score remaining 0-0.
The tides turned in the third for Villanova, as Thompson allowed the first three batters of the inning to get on base by way of a single, a HBP, and a four-ball walk. Leadoff hitter Dylan McNary took full advantage of batting with loaded bases, and a double to left center brought home all three players for an early 3-0 run for the Wildcats. Villanova kept applying the pressure, and after a pitcher change from Thompson to Tyler Burnham, Timothy Lilly hit a double down the left line two bring home two more and have the Wildcats up 5-0 at the end of three.
Seton Hall would end up answering back in the fifth inning, and with two runners in scoring position and one out, Casey Dana ended up getting a single to bring Connor Hood over home plate and cut the team’s deficit to four runs.
The Hall kept on battling, and in the seventh inning, the Hall was able to knot the score up to 5-5. With bases loaded after a single by Hood, another single by Jerry Huntzinger, and Dana getting hit by a pitch, Matt Toke responded with a two-run single down right field. Esposito then bunted during the next at-bat, which brought in Dana. The final run in that inning was Toke crossing home plate due to a fielding error by third basemen John Heilenbach. The Hall was able to tie the matchup back up at 5-5 after seven.
Seton Hall had a chance to score at the top of the second with two runners on base, but with two runners on base, Hood was out at second. In the bottom of the ninth, Villanova only was able to get on base by way of a fielding error. Corey Sawyer was able to get the three outs needed to move into extra innings.
In extras, Dana started of the top of the 10th right with a double to left field. Christian Del Castillo hit after was a sacrifice bunt which allowed Dana to move to third. With Dana 90-feet away, Toke was able to hit an RBI and bring Dana home. Grober added an insurance run with a triple to right field to bring home Toke.
In the bottom of the 10th, Sawyer was dealing, and with three batters up, he got two strikeouts and a groundout to get the win.
Seton Hall will continue their season on Tuesday, when they will go to Lawrence, NJ to play the Rider Broncs. First pitch is expected at 3:30 pm.
Wilnir Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.