Pirates fail to capitalize as LIU Brooklyn takes rubber match

Date: April 2, 2017

By Andrea Keppler

In six starts this season, Shane McCarthy was three games under .500 with a whopping 7.12 ERA. That's hard to believe these stats from a pitcher who made the Preseason All-Big East Team. However, his dominant performance in the rubber match between Seton Hall and LIU Brooklyn was a reminder of his capabilities as a pitcher despite the Hall’s 2-1 loss.

In his seventh outing of the season, McCarthy worked through the Blackbirds' lineup until he ran into trouble in the fourth. He was in a bases-loaded jam after consecutively giving up a double, single and walk. Cather Matt Fortin visited the mound to speak with his pitcher and then McCarthy got LIU's Luis Arias de los Santos to ground out to end the inning.

McCarthy said that “Fortin and I work well together and he just reminded me [on the mound] that I have the stuff to get out of this inning and we got seven guys behind me so we try to get out of it the best we could and we sure did.”

LIU starter Nick Freijomil retired the first eight Seton Hall batters before giving up a two-out single to third baseman Connor Hood.

The Hall had an opportunity to score in the fifth inning as Mike Alescio got a one out single to right field and Sebastiano Santorelli worked the count full for a walk. A double-steal between Alescio and Santorelli sent them to third and second bases, respectively, and a fielder’s choice (FC) allowed Hood to go to first. However, Alescio was call out at home on the FC and Seton Hall head coach Rob Sheppard was ejected after arguing the call at home plate.

In the same inning, Joe Poduslenko was hit by a pitch, loading the bases in the process. But, the Pirates were unable to convert any runs as Rob Dadona's fly ball to left field ended the inning.

Freijomil was able to work his way around the Hall’s lineup until Fortin smashed a homerun to left field that would give the Hall a 1-0 lead. However, his homerun was appealed as he did not touch first base when rounding the bases.

Andrew Politi entered the game in relief for the Pirates after McCarthy ended his day with seven strikeouts and one walk in his 6.1 innings of work.

“What was working for me today was my command, my pitches,” McCarthy said. “I wasn't getting into deep counts and I had my teammates there to make the plays behind me.”

Politi gave up a single to Joe Mercadante that drove in Charles Misiano to give LIU a 1-0 lead. Ryan Testani took over the mound after the first run was scored and the Blackbirds extended their lead as Dom Paiotti scored on an overthrow to second as Mercadante was stealing second.

Testani threw 2.2 frames with three strikeouts and only allowed one hit.

“Ryan always attacks the zone” McCarthy said. Testani pitches “where he can get some weak contact” and “he's really strong and out of the bullpen.”

The Pirates were able to score in the ninth on Alescio's single to center which drove in pinch runner Jackson Martin, but this was not enough to overcome their run deficit.

Seton Hall is now 13-12 overall and will play Wagner on Wednesday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m. The game can be streamed online at wsou.net.