A seven-run fifth inning pushed Hofstra baseball to a 14-3 victory against the NYIT Bears in the Pride’s home opener Wednesday afternoon. The win improved the Pride’s record to 3-8 and stopped a four-game skid. The Bears dropped to 1-8.
A hit by pitch, error and walk loaded the bases for the Pride in the fifth inning. With two outs, freshman Vinnie Costello singled through the left side to bring Vito Friscia and freshman Sean Rausch in to score. With Mikey Riesner on second and Costello on first, the Pride then successfully completed a double steal to move the runners up. Rob Weissheier was then hit by a pitch to load the bases again for Hofstra.
Sophomore Tom Archer blew the game open with a bases clearing double. Steven Foster capped the scoring off with a two-run homer and gave the Pride an 11-1 lead. All seven runs scored in the fifth by the Pride were unearned.
Archer had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-4 on the day with four RBI and two doubles.
“I’m just seeing the ball good. I’ve felt good the whole time, but today they just in fell for me,” Archer said.
Elias Martinez pitched five innings for the Bears, allowing eight hits and 11 runs, but only three were earned.
“We have a lot of respect for Martinez as a pitcher. I think we came in there with good focus and were able to put a lot of quality at-bats against him early,” Hofstra head coach John Russo said.
On a planned multi-pitcher day for the Pride, Coach Russo sent nine pitchers to the mound. Redshirt junior Teddy Cillis started the game for the Pride, pitching one inning of no-hit ball with two strikeouts. The Pride’s pitching allowed just four hits and struck out 13 batters during the game. Chris Weiss struck out the side in his lone inning of relief.
James Beasley, who pitched the third, got the win despite giving up the game-tying run after walking back-to-back Bears with two outs. The Pride responded in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead after Rausch singled and advanced to third on an error by the right fielder and then scored after a sacrifice fly by Friscia.
NYIT would get two runs back in the eighth on a two-run triple from Zach Kleinwaks to make it 14-3, but the Pride’s lead was too large to overcome.
Redshirt senior David Leiderman, Costello, Friscia, Foster and Archer all had multi-hit games for the Pride. Friscia opened the scoring with a home run in the bottom of the first for the Pride.
“We came out and played pretty well. We swung the bats better than we’ve been swinging. We got really good efforts from the bullpen all day and a lot of strong days from a few hitters,” Coach Russo said.
Errors have been one of the biggest issues for the Pride recently, but the team put up a clean sheet in the field.
“We’re still not handling and making plays that we should overall… I think our defense will improve as the guys lock in and get ready to take in more. Yes, we’re happy with the day, but still think we can do better and need to keep getting better,” Coach Russo said.
Hoping to ride the win, the Pride now heads to Troy, Alabama to take on Troy University in a four-game series over the weekend that begins Friday night.