By Michael Otero
On Monday, March 7, the baseball team opened a series of five games in the Sunshine State against Nyack College. Powered by a pair of juniors, the Pioneers won their opening game by a score of 3-1. Starting pitcher, junior Jake DeCarli went the distance allowing just one run and striking out 12 while his battery mate, junior Thomas Asbaty, launched a two-run homer to kick start the offense.
In their next game on Tuesday, March 8, it was more of the same from the Pioneer pitching staff. Senior hurler Joey Arena struck out 11 members of Post University in an 8-1 rout. The Pioneers, who were kept off the board through the first three innings, broke through in the fourth with run scoring hits from sophomore outfielder Rob Andreoli, junior outfielder Kenny Daley and freshman infielder Jimmy Mendyk. With a 3-0 lead, Asbaty corked his second home run in as many games and the Pioneers were well on their way to another victory.
Nyack College, just one day removed from a loss to the Pioneers, returned to the diamond against the Green and Gold and suffered the same result; a loss. Junior pitcher Dan Jagiello labored through six tough innings and allowed five earned runs, but did earn his first win of the season. Jagiello and junior reliever Brian Tinney punched out a combined 13 opponents and held the fort down for the Pioneer offense which went off for nine runs. Andreoli and Asbaty continued their hot hitting, each collecting two RBIs and multi-hit games.
The Pioneers lone loss on the road trip came to Lynn College on Wednesday, March 9. The Pioneers were outhit 12-7 and outscored 12-8. The turning point came in the fifth inning when Lynn College battled back from a three run deficit. One inning later, Lynn College plated two more runs and then plated an additional two runs in the seventh inning on a two-run bomb down the left field line. Andreoli and senior first baseman David Groeneveld each had two RBIs and went 1-3 with a walk, but the Pioneers couldn’t scratch enough runs together to beat Lynn College.
In their final game in Florida, the Pioneers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and walked off Bloomfield College in an 8-7 victory. In the ninth inning, the Pioneers loaded the bases with nobody out. After a walk, Groeneveld tied the score with a sacrifice fly and two batters later, freshman outfielder Dave Brehm singled to win the game for the Pioneers. Andreoli, Groeneveld, sophomore shortstop Joe Spitaleri and junior catcher Kyle Fagan all had multi-hit efforts in the win.
The Pioneers return to the field on Thursday, March 17, when they travel to Bloomfield, N.J. to play Bloomfield College. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.