The Hofstra baseball team picked up its first win of the season Thursday night over Nicholls State (2-3), routing the Colonels 10-3 in the Mardi Grad Invitational in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The Pride offense exploded for 18 hits and led 9-0 after seven innings.
Hofstra (1-4) had scored three runs in its first four games of the season and matched that total in the first inning of Thursday’s game.
After Steven Foster led off the game with a single and Brad Witkowski walked, Nick
Bottari smacked a double to center field to score them both.
Bottari advanced to third on the throw home and Vito Friscia scored him with a sacrifice fly to right field the next at-bat. Despite two more baserunners, the Pride was finished scoring until the later innings.
Hofstra starting pitcher John Rooney took the hill with a 3-0 lead and was lights out for five innings, giving up no hits and firing six strikeouts. Nicholls State’s only baserunners in the first five innings were four walks and a hit batter.
This game was a nice rebound for Rooney, who allowed five runs in 5.2 innings against Murray State a week ago. He exited last night’s game after 80 pitches and five strong innings, sending Andrew Mundy to the mound with a 4-0 lead.
Hofstra scored in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, using contributions from the entire lineup. David Leiderman doubled and then scored on a double by Sean Rausch in the sixth, but the inning ended when Rausch was thrown out at home on a later play.
In the seventh, the offense found its groove yet again with singles by Witkowski, Bottari and Teddy Cillis that were capped off by Mikey Riesner’s three-run home run, the first of his Hofstra career. Leading 9-0 after seven innings, the Pride’s final run came in the ninth inning when Riesner scored on a passed ball.
Nicholls State scored all three of its runs in the eighth inning off of Mundy (unearned), but were shut down in the ninth by Seamus Brazill. The Colonels struck out 11 times in the game and ended with just four hits.
Bottari led the way with a huge game for Hofstra in its first win, tallying four hits and two RBI. Rausch had three hits in the game, while five batters ended with two hits. The Pride’s 18-hit night was the most they have had since April 2015.
After dropping its first four games in lackluster fashion, Hofstra needed to have a game like this where everything was going right.
Hofstra is next in action Feb. 24 in Game 2 of the Mardi Gras Invitational against Southern at 10:30 a.m. (CST).