LOUISVILLE, KY - The Seton Hall baseball team produced a pair of two run innings as well as a four run frame, and the pitching held on during a late-game surge by the Louisville offense as they beat the #13/13 Cardinals, 8-6, Sunday afternoon at Jim Patterson Stadium. With the win, the Pirates avoided the sweep and ended their eight game winless streak.
Seton Hall (14-22-1, 4-11) jumped out to a quick lead in the top of the second inning when Chris Fontenelli (Toms River, N.J.) and Michael Rogers (Portland, Ore.) hit two-out RBI singles to right field.
They doubled their lead in the top of the fourth. Fontenelli led off with a single, Bobby Abreu (Piscataway, N.J.) followed with a single and each runner moved up a base on a successful sacrifice bunt by Rogers. Chris Spagnuolo (Tabernacle, N.J.) plated Fontenelli with a groundout to the right side and Frank Esposito (Staten Island, N.Y.) belted an RBI triple off the center field wall.
Louisville (32-7, 11-4) cut their deficit in half with a solo home run by Stewart Ijames in the home half of the fifth and a wild pitch scoring Jeff Arnold in the sixth.
After Arnold scored on the wild pitch ball four that allowed Andrew Clark to reach first, the Hall summoned Ed Ras (Millstone, N.J.) from the bullpen in favor of starter Jon Prosinski (Skillman, N.J.), inducing an inning-ending double play off the bat of Phil Wunderlich.
Seton Hall took the momentum into their half of the seventh where they scored four runs to take a commanding, 8-2, lead.
It began with a lead-off single by Esposito and another by pinch-hitter Chase Gray (Toms River, N.J.). Rusbarsky advanced each with a sacrifice bunt, while Giuseppe Papaccio (Nutley, N.J.) hit an RBI single, and Walsh ripped a two-run single. Walsh would later come around to score on a wild pitch.
The insurance runs would come in to play as the high-powered Louisville offense began to start a comeback looking for their 19th come-from-behind win of the year. It started with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the seventh. Kyle Grieshaber belted a two-run home run and Cade Stallings hit a solo shot cutting the lead to, 8-5.
They began the eighth inning with a solo home run over the center field wall by Adam Duvall. Clark drew a walk and Wunderlich singled. With runners on first and third and one out, Benny Mejia (Paterson, N.J.) came in from the bullpen forcing J.J. Ethel to ground into the inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Mejia tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn his first save of the season. Prosinski (2-2) picked up the win after allowing only two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. Gabriel Shaw (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season yielding four runs on eight hits in four innings of work.
Abreu led the Pirate offense with three hits, a walk, and a run scored. Rogers, Esposito, Papaccio, and Fontenelli each finished with two hits. Will Walsh (New Milford, N.J.) ended with a hit, a walk, two RBI, and two runs scored on offense, and a diving catch at the wall in right field off the bat of Stallings in the bottom of the ninth - recording the second out and saving an extra-base hit - on defense.
The Pirates return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Monmouth. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.