SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Junior Mike Genovese (Livingston, N.J.) went 3-for-4 with a team-high three-RBIs and pitched the final 2.1 innings for his first save of the season as the Seton Hall baseball team out-slugged West Virginia, 11-9, in the series opener on Friday.
Seton Hall (24-18, 9-7) had to rely on the strength of their bullpen and offense after a rare poor start by ace pitcher Jon Prosinski (Skillman, N.J.). The right-hander went just 4.1 innings while giving up a season-high eight earned runs.
Trailing 4-0, the Pirates struck for three runs in the bottom of the second. With two outs and the bases loaded, sophomore Zack Granite (Staten Island, N.Y.) walked to force in the first run of the evening for Seton Hall. Genovese then followed with a two-RBI single to pull the Pirates to within one run at 4-3.
An inning later, Scott Kalamar (Bethlehem, Pa.) would single home Dale Anderson (Calgary, Canada) to tie the game at four. Kalamar continued his red-hot week, finishing the game 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
West Virginia (17-25, 5-11) struck back with three runs in the top of the fourth to take a 7-4 lead, but the Pirates rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at seven. This time, it was freshman Sal Annunziata (Bronx, N.Y.) delivering the big hit, a two-RBI single.
The Mountaineers grabbed their third lead of the game in the top of the fifth inning with a pair of runs to make it 9-7. But the Pirates would again respond with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning on an error and Genovese's third RBI of the game.
Scoring for the fifth straight inning, the Pirates would grab their first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Kalamar tripled to deep left center. Dillon Hamlin (Colts Neck, N.J.) laid down a perfect bunt for a safety squeeze that went for a base hit, scoring Kalamar with the go-ahead run and the Pirates' first lead of the game. Two batters later, Granite reached on an infield single, scoring Hamlin with an insurance run to make the score, 11-9.
The Pirates bullpen put up goose eggs from the sixth inning on. Rick Mangione (Orange, Conn.) pitched two innings of scoreless baseball before Genovese moved from second base to the mound to retire the Mountaineers over the final 2.1 innings. The amphibious Genovese didn't allow a run and scattered just two hits for his first save of the season.
Seton Hall's offense has been reborn over the last nine games. Including the 15 hits recorded against West Virginia, the Pirates have had at least 10 hits in eight of their last nine games. In that time, the team has raised its batting average from .237 to .263.
A main contributor to tonight's hit parade was senior Will Walsh (New Milford, N.J.) who finished the game 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Anderson and Chris Selden (Allenhurst, N.J.) contributed two hits apiece.
Seton Hall also tied its season-high with six stolen bases. Granite and Walsh stole a pair each.
The Pirates will return to action tomorrow as they'll host West Virginia in game two of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
For a post-game interview with Mike Genovese, click here.