After what had been a rough weekend for the Hofstra baseball team, the Pride was able to turn it around on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at University Field by beating the Towson University Tigers 11-5, ultimately pushing both teams to 2-4 in conference play.
“That was the most excited I’ve seen our team. They were outside the dugout like it was a walk-off grand slam or something,” said Hofstra head coach John Russo after the win.
Sophomore Tom Archer was perhaps the biggest run producer of the day, accomplishing so much with quality base running. In fact, the highlight of the game was his acrobatic slide into home plate. The throw beat him and his slide came up short, so he popped up, jumped over the catcher’s tag, landed a bit further than the plate and reached back to touch it before the catcher could apply the tag.
Archer had a standout performance that could be seen as a breakout, as he went 3-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored.
“Tommy wasn’t in the first lineup I wrote today, and he wasn’t happy about it,” Russo said. “But then Bottari has been showing some concussion symptoms, and so I went to Tommy and said ‘Hey, the stars aligned; you got a break here – you need to go on the field and produce.’”
Coming into this game, Russo wanted a strong performance out of his ace, sophomore John Rooney. Early on, Rooney struggled as he gave up three runs within the first two innings. His effectiveness turned around completely once the third inning came around.
“It just seemed like he went to another spot in that third inning and got angry and pitched with a little fire,” Russo said.
Rooney began pitching at a quick pace to the point of frustrating the Towson batters. Many of them would call for time or step out of the box to try and throw him off, but nothing seemed to phase Rooney.
He ended the game with a stat line of six innings, five runs (four earned), three walks and eight strikeouts, all while throwing an astounding 134 pitches.
Following Rooney on the mound was freshman John Ryan, who pitched an outstanding three innings in relief, giving up no runs and allowing just two hits.
Sophomore Vito Friscia started the scoring for the Pride as he hit a two-run moonshot out to left center in the bottom of the first. Friscia would lead the Pride on the day with three RBI.
Junior Steven Foster had two of his own while seniors Brad Witkowski, Chris Hardardt and David Leiderman, along with freshman Vinnie Costello and Archer each recorded one.
After an energetic game, the Pride looks to carry the momentum into Tuesday’s matchup against Fairfield University.