By Alex Hyman, Staff Writer
Coming off of its first sweep of the season, the Hofstra baseball team traveled to Norfolk, Virginia and won its first road series of the year against Old Dominion University (ODU).
The Pride's offense has been as good as any other team in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) this year as they rank first in team batting average, runs scored, RBI's, stolen bases and on base percentage.
The offense continued soaring the past four games scoring a total of 34 runs and finishing with a 3-1 record.
Hofstra sent junior ace David D'Errico to the mound for the first game of the series and he impressed once again throwing four scoreless innings. Junior Andrew Barbarino tossed the next three innings scoreless as well to pick up his first win of the year.
The Pride got on the board early after sophomore Kenny Jackson and junior T.J. Thomas both had RBI doubles in the first to take a 4-0 lead.
Junior outfielder Taylor Stuart knocked in two of his own in the top of the second to put the Pride ahead by six.
"I think the early scoring really helped us," said Russo. "We felt confident having Dave on the mound. We really thought we were going to have to rely on him to get the win."
Senior Kevin Flynn had a two RBI triple in the eighth and scored on the back end of a double steal to finish the Pride scoring for the night.
The Pride went on the win the first game of the series 9-5.
The Pride swiped six bases in the opener and rank first in the nation in stolen bases averaging over three per game.
Senior Danny Poma, and juniors Austin Nyman and Dalton Rouleau rank one two and three respectively in the conference in stolen bases.
Game two marked just the third in conference loss for the Pride. The long ball worked against the Pride as ODU walloped four homeruns.
Junior John Tiedemann got roughed up in 1.2 innings of work, giving up five hits and six runs, three of which were earned.
"He had good stuff, the problem was he wasn't hitting his spots," said Russo. "ODU's a good team...John just made mistakes."
The Pride was still able to register double-digit hits but dropped the game 13-5.
Junior Chris Nardo took advantage of his first start of the year leading the team with two hits and two RBI's. Stuart, Poma, and junior Jared Hammer each knocked in one run.
Hofstra bounced back in the final game of the series scoring 11 runs in a six-inning rain-shortened game. Nyman knocked in the first run of the game in the second inning and Poma's third homerun of the year put the Pride on top 2-0 after three innings.
"I was real happy with that win," said Russo. "Austin Nyman had a huge hitting weekend. He had a lot of big hits and was a total pest all weekend."
Hofstra batted around in the fourth inning as the Pride sent 13 to the plate and plated eight runs. Sophomore catcher Matt Reistetter knocked in the first and last run of the inning and finished the contest with two RBI's. Poma and Hammer also had two RBI's, with Stuart, Nyman, Thomas, and junior Matt Ford all knocking in one.
Freshman starter Dave Jesch threw 5.2 innings of shut out ball, walking just one and striking out seven to improve his record to a team best 3-0.
"Dave Jesch has been borderline amazing," said Russo. "He came out and was as dominating as he's been all year. He had great stuff and I think the offense really fed off of his energy."
After taking two out of three from ODU the Pride improved its CAA record to 6-3, tying it for second in the conference with Towson.
The Pride took on Marist College in an out-of-conference game on Tuesday and won once gain to improve its overall record to 11-11. It took some clutch late game hitting as the Pride tallied three in the sixth, two in the seventh, and two in the eighth.
Junior Cody Normand, sophomore Brett Schreiber, and Barbarino combined for five scoreless innings to end the game.
Poma, Jackson, Thomas, and Reistetter all had one RBI with shortstop Matt Ford leading the team with three, including a two RBI double to give the Pride the lead in the eighth.
The Pride has another out-of-conference opponent this weekend, as it is taking on Delaware State University in a three game series.