By Alex Hyman, Staff Writer
The weather was cold, but the Hofstra Pride baseball team was heating up, winning two out of three games this past weekend against Colonial Athletic Association opponent Towson. The two wins marked the Pride's first winning streak and first series victory of the year.
"It's awesome," said head coach Patrick Anderson. "We earned it and we did a great job"
The pitching for the Pride has been off and on this year but it came to play against Towson.
The series opener saw the Pride's most successful starting pitcher this season, sophomore David D'Errico, take the rubber. He pitched six and one third innings, giving up eight hits and two earned runs in a no decision.
After sophomore Joe Burg finished the seventh inning, senior Jeff Guthridge pitched phenomenal for the final four innings, surrendering just one hit and striking out five in his four innings of work.
Offensively, the Pride got on the board early when junior outfielder Danny Poma was able to get a run home with a sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Pride a 1-0 lead.
Trailing by one in the fifth, junior outfielder T.J. Thomas stepped to the plate with one out and laced a triple to left-center field, then scoring on a throwing error.
The Pride took the lead in the sixth inning when junior infielder Dylan Nasiatka and sophomore first baseman Jared Hammer each knocked in a run.
The Tigers tied the game in the top of the seventh and the score remained 4-4 until the bottom of the 11th inning.
With one out, junior Joe Perez singled and after a groundout by Hammer, Thomas lined a double down the left field line putting the winning run on third base.
An intentional walk loaded the bases for freshman catcher Matt Reistetter who worked the count and lined a 2-1 pitch through the hole between first and second, giving the Pride a 5-4 victory.
"I just wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere," Reistetter said. "I knew I was going to get a hit."
The win marked the third straight series in which the Pride won the first game of the series.
The second game of the series was all about the pitching as well.
The only runs of the game from either side occurred in the second inning when Towson plated one and a Thomas bases loaded double to left gave the Pride a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
That was all the offense the Pride needed as five Hofstra relief pitchers combined to give up seven hits while walking only three.
Senior Sean Monaghan threw the first two innings with redshirt freshman Brett Schreiber throwing the third and fourth innings, picking up his first win of the season.
Sophomore Cody Normand and freshman Everett Keller went the next three; giving up just one hit each.
Freshman Bryan Verbitsky dominated the last two innings getting his first save of the year.
"They pounded the strike zone and were very aggressive," said Anderson of the bullpen's performance.
The Tigers turned the tables in the final game of the series with Towson senior starter Charlie Cononie pitching a complete game two-hit shutout. The Pride's Nasiatka and Poma had back-to-back singles in the first for the only two hits of the game.
Senior Rob Kumbatovic picked up the loss, throwing four innings giving up five hits and three runs, striking out six.
The Pride's record stands at 4-5 in conference play.