March 10, 2014
HARRISONBURG, VA. - For the second time in three games, the Seton Hall baseball team erupted for at least 20 hits in a 19-4 series clinching victory at James Madison on Monday.
Seton Hall (9-3) battered the Dukes for 24 hits, the most since recording 25 hits in a 24-7 victory over Chicago State on March 11, 2003. The Pirates' 19 runs are the most since scoring 20 in a 20-0 win over Villanova on April 25, 2004.
All nine Pirate starters recorded at least one hit, and all but one had at least two hits. Six different Pirates had at least two RBIs. Junior Kyle Grimm (Bergenfield, N.J.) led the offensive onslaught, going 4-for-6 with four runs scored, two RBIs and his first career home run. D.J. Ruhlman (Belle Mead, N.J.), Chris Selden (Allenhurst, N.J.) and Zack Weigel (Oak Park, Ill.) each had three hits apiece. Weigel led the team with three RBIs.
Seton Hall got help from the long ball at the start of the game. With one out, Ruhlman slammed a solo home run over the right-center field wall. Grimm made it back-to-back dingers with his first career long-ball, a crushed shot to dead center field.
Alex Falconi (Freeport, N.Y.) led off the top of the second with a triple off the left field wall. Selden followed with a fly ball to left, deep enough to score Falconi and extend the Seton Hall lead to 3-0.
James Madison (7-8) came back with runs in the bottom of the second and third. Kyle Weston led off the second inning with an inside-the-park home run. Ty McFarland's RBI double and Matt Tenaglia's bloop RBI single tied the game at three in the bottom of the third.
In the top of the fourth inning, Seton Hall re-took the lead on a two-out infield RBI single by Chris Chiaradio (Teaneck, N.J.). Freshman Jackson Martin (Collegeville, Pa.) drove in two more with a hard single through the right side to give the Pirates a 6-3 lead.
The Pirates extended their lead to 7-3 in the top of the fifth when Grimm reached on an infield single with one out and Tyler Boyd (Succasunna, N.J.) drove him in with a double to right center field.
Seton Hall finally blew the game open in the top of the sixth inning. All nine batters in the Pirates' order came to the plate as their offense erupted for five runs to extend their lead to 12-3. The big hits in the inning were two-RBI singles by Zack Weigel (Oak Park, Ill.) and Sal Annunziata (Bronx, N.Y.).
The Pirates' bullpen excelled on Monday, as three pitchers combined for 5.2 innings without an earned run. Joe DiBenedetto (Staten Island, N.Y.) got the win in relief. The freshman pitched 2.2 innings of shutout baseball. Steven Lombardi (Saddle River, N.J.) pitched a perfect seventh inning and Conor Krauss (Randolph, N.J.) struck out three over the final two innings.
Pirates' starter Luke Cahill (Tinton Falls, N.J.) ran into trouble early and lasted only 3.1 innings, while giving up three earned runs, striking out two and walking one in a no decision.
Seton Hall's five-run sixth inning is the largest single-inning run total this season. The Pirates scored in every inning in the game, except the third.
Seton Hall will return to the diamond on Friday, March 14 when it makes its 2014 home debut at Owen T. Carroll Field against Manhattan College. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.