By Jerome Bailey, Staff Writer
Despite trailing the Manhattan Jaspers 7-4 going into the seventh inning of Wednesday's game, the Pride's offense scored four runs to put them ahead. The Pride never looked back and hung on for the 11-7 win at University Field. The win marks the Pride's fifth consecutive victory, moving it to 5-10 on the season and gives it a 17-9 record against the Jaspers all-time.
"A bunch of guys stepped up as a whole, and it was a team effort. It's feels real good to have won five straight games, especially at home, now we just have to do it on the road," said head coach Patrick Anderson.
The Pride came out sluggish and found themselves in a 4-0 hole, however they refused to go down easily and fought back to tie the game at 4-4. Shortly thereafter, Mike McCan led a Jaspers rally with a solo homerun and his team added two more to increase the lead to 7-4.
With bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning, Pride junior Kevin Flynn hit an run-scoring line drive single, trimming the Jaspers lead to 7-5. Freshmen Matt Ford and Michael Beers followed Flynn with hits as Ford drove in a run and Beers followed up by smashing a line drive down the right field line, giving the Pride a 8-7 lead. Sophomore John Kenny hit a homerun in the eighth inning, which sealed the deal for the Pride.
"I'm going to be doing a bunch of praying that we carry this momentum on this road trip. We have to be consistent in our play," said Anderson.
This past weekend, led by senior Matt Prokopowicz stellar offensive performances, the Pride swept a pair of doubleheaders against the Fairfield Stags. The sweep gave the Pride its first four wins of the season after losing its first 10. The four game winning streak is the first for the Pride in three years.
"We were able to get over the hump because we put all the aspects [hitting, pitching and defense] together. These were good quality wins for our guys," said Anderson.
In the series Prokopowicz compiled 20 total bases and was 10 for 15 (.667) with eight runs scored and two walks. Prokopowicz had at least one hit in all four games and is currently batting .419 through 11 games and has hit three homeruns. Prokopowicz recent surge earned him CAA Player of the Week honors.
"I have been feeling real good, getting good pitches to hit, getting a lot of fastballs and being at the top of the lineup. Hopefully I can keep it up," said Prokopowicz.
In game one on Sunday, with the Pride leading 6-0, senior Ethan Paquette hit a grand slam to extend the margin to 11-0 and giving the Pride their first shutout this season. The Pride was leading 2-0 in the second game when junior Scott A'Hara drilled a two run homerun. The homer for A'Hara was his first of two during the game. A'Hara entered the game with only one career homerun previous.
"This is a big confidence booster for me and it felt real good. I have not been hitting well lately, so this feels good finally," said A'Hara.
In Saturday's games, freshmen Dave D'Errico, Jared Rogers and John Krause only allowed four runs. In game one, D'Errico limited the Stags to five hits in four innings and Krause was credited with the first Pride save of the season. In game 2, Rogers held the Stags to four hits over six innings and earned his first collegiate victory.