STORRS, CONN. - Senior Chris Fontenelli (Toms River, N.J.) hit an RBI single in the top of the ninth to break a, 2-2, tie and Benny Mejia (Paterson, N.J.) (3-1) recorded the final six outs to earn his third win of the season as the Seton Hall baseball team defeated #20/19 Connecticut, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at J.O. Christian Field. With win, the Pirates avoided the series sweep and ended the 2010 season with a victory.
With one out in the ninth, Will Walsh (New Milford, N.J.) reached with a bunt single towards the right side of the infield and pinch-hitter Chase Gray (Toms River, N.J.) followed with a single through the left side of the infield, setting up Fontenelli who ripped a pitch through the left side plating Walsh from second base.
Mejia, who recorded a 1-2-3 eighth inning, allowed a lead-off walk to number three hitter George Springer in the ninth, but struck out clean-up hitter Mike Nemeth, forced Thursday's hero Mike Olt to a foul ball fly out to right field, and induced Kevin Vance to ground out to shortstop A.J. Rusbarsky (Freehold, N.J.) for the final out.
The Pirates jumped out to a quick lead with two runs in the top of the first inning. Bobby Abreu (Piscataway, N.J.) led off with a single and moved to second base two batters later when Michael Rogers (Portland, Ore.) grounded out to the right-side of the infield. Frank Esposito (Staten Island, N.Y.) belted a two-out RBI single and came around to score the Pirates second run on a run-scoring single by Rusbarsky.
Run-scoring singles by John Andreoli and Nick Ahmed tied the game at two in the home half of the third inning.
Still tied in the bottom of the sixth, the Huskies threatened with Ahmed on second base with one-out, but John Prosinski (Skillman, N.J.) induced an infield pop-up off the bat of Springer and a fly-out to right field from Nemeth for the final out
One inning later, Connecticut again looked to break the tie, but strong defense by the Pirates kept them at bay. With Kevin Vance on second base after leading off the inning with a double, Doug Elliot originally squared to bunt but pulled the bat back, and flew out to Walsh in right field. After the catch, Walsh threw out a tagging Vance at third base for the second out of the inning. Billy Ferriter extended the inning with an infield single, but Esposito threw him out attempting to steal second base ending the frame.
Fontenelli, Rusbarsky, and Walsh finished the game with two hits apiece to lead the offense. Rusbarsky finished the season with a team-high 10 game hitting streak, while Walsh ended with a eight-game streak.
Prosinski received a no-decision despite surrendering only one earned run on eight hits in seven innings of work.
Scott Oberg (5-1) took the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the ninth, his only inning of relief, on three hits.
The Seton Hall baseball program would like to thank everyone for their support during the 2010 season. Please continue to check www.shupirates.com for information regarding the baseball team throughout the summer.