Seton Hall falls to Butler 2-1 in first game of Big East TournamentDate: May 25, 2018
By Dalton Allison
It took 13 innings for the Seton Hall Pirates to fall to the Butler Bulldogs 2-1 in what was each teams’ first game in the Big East Championship.
After watching St. John’s defeat Georgetown in the first game of the day, both teams were anxious to get out on the field and fight for the right to face the Red Storm. Both teams were so anxious in fact, that they each scored their first run in the first inning.
In the top of the first, with leadoff batter Zach Jarosz on third base, Michael Hartnagel lined the ball at shortstop Al Molina. Molina was unable to field the ball cleanly, which allowed Jarosz to reach home for the first run of the game.
Molina quickly made up for his error in the bottom of the inning however, as he drove a Ryan Pepiot pitch to deep center field to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. At this point in the game, it would have been fair to assume that this game was going to be a back and forth affair. This game would become a pitcher’s duel that would not be broke until the thirteenth inning.
For the Pirates, it was starter Shane McCarthey that did the heavy lifting. After allowing the unearned run in the top of the first, he was absolutely lights out for the Pirates. His final line was seven innings pitched, with five strikeouts. For the senior, if it was his last outing as a Pirate, it certainly was a fantastic one.
On the other side of the mound was Pepiot, who also settled down after the first inning. He pitched 7.1 innings, and struck out 10 Pirates.
Seton Hall’s best opportunity came in the bottom of the seventh, when they had the bases loaded with nobody out. After Matt Toke was thrown out at home on a Christian Del Castillo grounder, the Pirates were left with the bases still loaded but with one out. Then, Rob Dadona grounded the ball to second. After being ruled out at second, Del Castillo was also called for runner’s interference, as he appeared to obstruct the throw attempt to complete the double play. This allowed the Bulldogs to escape the inning.
In the top of the 13th, a Hartnagel base hit off of Matt Leon finally broke the Pirates back, and scored Gehrig Parker to give the Bulldogs their 2-1 lead, which they’d hold onto for the final score.
The Pirates will have to bounce back quickly if they want to advance in the tournament, as they will play Georgetown at 2:30 pm on Friday in a win or go home scenario.
Dalton Allison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org