Pirates Lose Defensive Edge, Fall in Final Home Game of 2017Date: May 16, 2017
By: James Justice
In the final contest at Owen T. Carroll Field of 2017, the Seton Hall baseball team dropped a chance to continue the momentum from their weekend sweep of Villanova, falling to Garden State neighbors Monmouth by a score of 7-2.
Shane McCarthy stepped to the mound for the Pirates in his new, unfamiliar role outside of the main three weekend starters. McCarthy pitched three innings of shutout ball, but was taken out to give way for Billy Layne Jr. in the fourth. McCarthy finished the game with no runs allowed and four strikeouts.
The Pirates would open the scoring in the third with two of the hottest Pirates players combining to put the Pirates ahead. Ryan Ramiz, who batted over .600 in the weekend series at Villanova, doubled to right field, and was later driven in by a Matt Toke single to put the Pirates up 1-0.
The Pirates one run lead would not even last an inning though, with the Hawks of Monmouth methodically getting runners on, and being rewarded when Dan Abate's single to right scored Ryan Crowley to tie the game at one.
With the game still tied in the seventh, Seton Hall's defense began to unravel and show signs that the game was turning away from the home side. Monmouth shortstop Danny Long would walk to get on base, and advance to second on a ground out. From there, a bouncing, fast-traveling hit by Grant Lamberton would go straight over the glove of Pirates shortstop Al Molina, allowing Long to score to put the Hawks ahead 2-1.
True to the style which inspired the Pirates name, Seton Hall would tie the game back up in the bottom half. Chris Talbott began the musical chairs, pinch hitting for Mikael Ali-Mogues, walking, and then being subbed out for Tyler Shedler-McAvoy. Mike Caputo would then emphatically line a ball down the left field line, galloping his way into second with the game tying RBI double to make it a 2-2 game.
Cruelly, the game would take a sour turn in the next frame, with Seton Hall allowing five runs in the top half of the eighth, giving Monmouth a comfortable 7-2 lead which they would not relinquish. Matt Leon came on in the eighth for the Pirates and took the loss after setting the table for Monmouth's scoring outburst, ultimately being credited for three of the five runs.
"We just didn't come to play," Seton Hall head coach Rob Sheppard said. "We were really flat, and it showed up later in the game."
The loss ends the Pirates five-game win streak, but holds little relevance going forward as their Big East mark is cemented at 10-8. The Pirates are currently seeded third for the Big East Tournament, but could fall to fourth depending on the final results of Xavier and Butler.
Before they travel to Omaha, Neb. for their seventh straight Big East Tournament, the Pirates will travel to Hammond, La. where they will face a Southeastern Louisiana team that the Pirates lost to earlier this season and is also ranked 27th in the nation's RPI.
"I think Southeast Louisiana is a really good challenge," Sheppard said. "I think they are a really good team, we had any opportunity to play them earlier in the season and it's a good chance for us to play against a good competition and prepare and get ourselves going for the tournament."
That series with Southeastern Louisiana will consist of three games, beginning on Thursday at 7pm.
James Justice can be found on Twitter @JamesJusticeIII and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.