By Michael Otero
After being hit with some scheduling changes and cancellations due to field conditions and weather, the baseball team returned to the diamond on Saturday, April 2, for a double dip against St. Thomas Aquinas College from the LIU Post Baseball Field.
The Pioneers dropped both ends of the double-header, 4-3 in extra innings and 3-2 in seven innings. In the first game, the Pioneers got off to a rocky start, but rebounded when junior pitcher Jake DeCarli found his rhythm.
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, the Pioneers snatched the lead on a two-run double off the bat of sophomore designated hitter Lou Doria. Two innings later, Doria found himself crossing home plate on a single by senior outfielder John Bellock to give the Pioneers a 3-1 advantage.
DeCarli, who settled down after allowing a run in the opening frame, buckled down through the first eight innings and didn’t allow another run. However, in the ninth inning, things unraveled.
St. Thomas, trailing by two runs, cut the deficit in half when Giovanni Dingcong launched a home run. Later in the inning, DeCarli struck out a pinch-hitter with the tying run at third base, but the ball got away from junior catcher Thomas Asbaty. His throw to first base got the batter out, but the return throw home was too late and the game was tied at three.
After scoreless 10th and 11th innings, the Spartans broke through in the 12th inning with a run. The Pioneers went down without a fight in their half of the inning and the Spartans came out on top in 12 innings.
In game two, the Spartans plated the first two runs of the game; one via a throwing error and another on an RBI double. The Pioneers responded with two runs of their own in a similar fashion. Freshman infielder Jimmy Mendyk touched home on a throwing error by the Spartans and he also drove in the game-tying run on a single.
In the sixth inning, the Spartans plated a run on a wild pitch and took a 3-2 lead late in the game. In the Pioneer half of the seventh inning, they got the tying run to third base, but he was never able to cross home. Pinch runner Michael Greene attempted to score on a wild pitch but the ball caromed back to the catcher and Greene was tagged out to end the game.
The Pioneers second double-header against St. Thomas Aquinas College, scheduled for Sunday, April 3, was postponed because of poor weather conditions. No makeup date has been announced as of yet. The baseball team will return to the field on Friday, April 8, when they travel to Brookhaven, N.Y. to play Dowling College. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.