By David Capobianco
The baseball team shutout East Coast Conference rival Queens College by a score of 3-0 on Thursday, April 13 at the LIU Post Baseball Field. It was the two teams’ second meeting of the season.
All of the Pioneers’ offense came in the first two innings. Sophomore catcher Anthony Vaglica broke out of an 11-for-61 slump in the first inning by knocking in two runs with a single. Vagilica was the Pioneers’ standout of the game on offense, going 3-for-4 with those 2 RBIs. He was the only Pioneer to reach base more than once, and it was his first multiple-hit game since March 29.
Vagilica said he was “very relieved” to get some big hits. “My swing got really long the past few months,” he explained. “And so I reverted back to keeping my head back, allowing me to see pitchers longer.”
The Pioneers pushed across their third run just an inning later, when junior out fielder Rob Andreoli continued his hot hitting by lacing an RBI single to left field to score junior shortstop Joe Spitaleri. Andreoli leads the Pioneers with a .315 batting average.
That Pioneers did not score another run after the second inning, but that was all sophomore pitcher James Varela needed on the mound. Varela red seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit with four walks and eight strikeouts. It was Varela’s first win in his last four starts.
“Overall, my off-speed stuff was working off my fastball inside,” Varela said. He said he just wants to “keep the same mindset” to make sure he has more starts like this one. “Working hard in between each start and staying locked in with every pitch,” he said.
Varela departed after the seventh inning and 120 pitches, giving way to senior relief pitcher Brian Tinney in the eighth inning, who worked into and out of trouble, stranding two runners. Senior relief pitcher Dan Jagiello came on in the ninth to shut the door, striking out two in the inning and earning his seventh save of the season.
The Pioneers have now won the first two of their four meetings against Queens this season. The win put them at 15-13 overall on the season, and it was their sixth win in their last eight games, all of which were conference games. Their next home game comes Wednesday, April 19 against the ECC-rival University of Bridgeport.