LOUISVILLE, KY - Joe DiRocco (East Hanover, N.J.) (4-4) scattered four runs over 7.1 innings against #13/13 Louisville, but the Cardinals broke a, 2-2, tie in the bottom of the eighth to defeat the Seton Hall baseball team, 4-2, Friday evening at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With one out in the home half of the eighth, Andrew Clark belted a triple off the center field wall. With the infield drawn in, Ryan Wright hit a ground ball to Pirates' second baseman Chris Fontenelli (Toms River, N.J.) who threw home to catcher Frank Esposito (Staten Island, N.Y.). As Esposito went to slap the tag on the base runner, Clark knocked the ball loose by colliding with Esposito for the Cardinals' third run of the game.
Esposito was injured on the play, and remained in the game, as did DiRocco to face Phil Wunderlich, but the Cardinals' third baseman hit a run-scoring double to give his team the, 4-2, advantage. The double chased DiRocco from the game in favor of Ed Ras (Millstone, N.J.) and Esposito for Nick Ammirati (Sparta, N.J.).
The southpaw Ras faced left-hander Stewart Ijames getting him to ground out to second base for the second out. Mike Genovese (Livingston, N.J.) finished the inning inducing a comebacker off the bat of Zak Wassmerman.
The Pirates (13-21-1, 3-10) broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth when Sean Gusrang (Burlington, N.J.) hit an RBI single. Esposito started the inning with a bunt single down the third base line. He stole second base and scored when Gusrang's hit fell in front of the diving Cardinal left fielder Kyle Grieshaber.
After Louisville (31-6, 10-3) took a, 2-1, lead in the bottom half of the inning with a run scoring single by Wright and an RBI double by Wasserman, the Hall came right back to tie it in the top of the fifth.
Fontenelli hit a one-out single and Rogers followed with the Pirates second bunt single down the third base line. Chris Spagnuolo (Tabernacle, N.J.) then ripped an RBI single to right field plating the Pirates' second baseman.
Derek Self (6-0) picked up the win tossing 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Thomas Royse who surrendered two runs on six hits in 4.2 innings. Neil Holland recorded his ninth save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Rogers and Fontenelli led the Pirate offense with two hits. Spagnuolo and Gusrang each drove in a run, and Esposito, along with Fontenelli, scored the runs.
The Pirates and Cardinals return to action tomorrow afternoon. First pitch has been moved up to noon due to inclement weather in the forecast.