The Hofstra baseball team began its season on the losing end, falling 5-1 to Murray State Friday afternoon in Hammond, Louisiana.
Murray State’s Kipp Moore was too much to handle for the Pride, going 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot, including two runs batted in and two extra base hits.
In his first at-bat, Moore smashed a home run off Hofstra’s John Rooney, giving the Racers a quick 1-0 lead – a lead they would never lose. Rooney received the loss, tossing 5.2 innings with five strikeouts and five earned runs.
Hofstra failed to capitalize with runners on base, leaving nine total baserunners stranded in the game.
Junior Steven Foster – who went 2-for-4 with a walk – led off the first inning with a double to left centerfield, but was unable to advance after Sean Rausch, Brad Witkowksi and Nick Bottari each flew out.
After allowing another run in the third inning, John Rooney appeared to find himself in a groove. Before that run, Rooney retired six consecutive batters. After allowing the RBI double off the bat of Moore – making it a 2-0 ballgame – the sophomore southpaw got out eight of the next ten batters after five innings.
In the top of the sixth, Bottari crushed Hofstra’s first home run of the year, drawing the game to one run.
However, the Racers answered back in the bottom frame with two RBI doubles and a RBI single, which knocked Rooney out of the game.
Florida Atlantic transfer Jorge Marrero made his Hofstra debut and shined. Marrero finished out the game, going 2.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts and no runs allowed.
For Murray State, starter Trevor McMurray picked up the win after a six inning outing. McMurray surrendered one run on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Luke Brown, Tyler Horsley and Alec Whaley held Hofstra to no runs in the final three innings.
For Hofstra, Teddy Cillis went 2-for-3 with a walk. Second baseman Brad Witkowski and catcher Vito Friscia each picked up a single and a walk.
Murray State’s Ramsey Scott, Caleb Hicks, Adam Bauer, Jaron Robinson and Aaron Bence had one hit each.
Hofstra continues its seven game road trip in Louisiana Feb. 18 against Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond.