By Michael Otero
On Friday, March 20, the baseball team defeated the Mavericks from Mercy College in the first of a trio of games over the weekend from Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Despite a forecast that called for some snow, the Pioneers were able to come out on top in their East Coast Conference opener, winning by a score of 3-1.
Sophomore pitcher Jake DeCarli tossed a gem, allowing one unearned run over 7.2 innings and striking out eight hitters. Fellow sophomore pitcher Dan Jagiello pitched the remaining 1.1 innings to notch his first save on the young season. The Pioneers scored two of three runs on wild pitches by the Mavericks. The lone RBI for the Green and Gold came from sophomore outfielder Kenny Daley who cracked a single in the first inning.
After heavy snowfall on Saturday, March 21, the Pioneers and Mavericks were forced to reschedule their set of games. Both sides returned to the diamond on Sunday, March 22, in a doubleheader, which rounded out the slew of games for the Pioneers. The Mavericks, looking to respond after Friday’s performance, did so in game one with a convincing 13-1 victory.
The Mavericks were put in a great position to win because of starting pitcher Matt Nalbone, who notched his first win of the year The sophomore allowed a measly six hits and one run over eight innings while fanning 13. The bats for Mercy didn’t get going until the sixth inning, but at that time they exploded for eight runs. They totaled 19 hits compared to the six for LIU Post.
In the finale of the three-game set, the Pioneers were able to pull out a 5-4 win. The Green and Gold were powered by a three run outburst in the first inning and a huge home run late in the game by junior first baseman David Groeneveld.
After the Mavericks grabbed a quick 1-0 lead early, the Pioneers responded with three runs of their own. RBI singles by Groeneveld and sophomore catcher Thomas Asbaty accounted for two of the three runs. The LIU three-run inning was answered with a Mercy three-run inning in the second and the Pioneers found themselves down by a run.
After a sacrifice fly by Asbaty in the third inning, which tied the game at four, the pitchers for both clubs decided to turn it up a notch. The Mavericks were held scoreless for the rest of the afternoon while the Pioneers grabbed the lead in the sixth on a homer by Groeneveld. On the hill, junior pitcher Dillon Burke earned his second win, tossing two scoreless innings and striking out one.
Head Coach Mike Gaffney and his squad return to action on Friday, March 27, when they hit the road to play the Lions from Molloy College in the first of a three-game set. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.