By Alex HymanSTAFF WRITER
Things have gone from bad to worse for the Hofstra Pride baseball team as it was swept for the second straight weekend, this time at the hands of the Towson University Tigers.
The Pride (4-14, 0-6 CAA) has now started Colonial Athletic Association play with six straight losses.
Pitching plagued the Pride over the weekend as it allowed 43 runs in the three game series.
The bullpen, which had been the strongest part of the team throughout the first few weeks, struggled mightily against the Tigers (11-7, 4-2 CAA), blowing each of the first two games.
“We have to figure out some pitching problems,” said Hofstra head coach John Russo. “We’re not stopping anyone in conference and that’s six straight games that we gave up double digit runs.”
Junior ace David D’Errico was one of the bright spots for the Pride over the weekend, making his first start since last April after having season ending Tommy John surgery.
D’Errico was on a strict pitch count and shut out the Tigers through the first three innings. He gave up two hits and zero runs in his first start.
“It was great to be back on the mound,” D’Errico said. “I had a lot of adrenaline and emotions, and it was great to be back out there.”
The bullpen combined to give up 14 runs over the final six innings en route to a 14-4 loss. Brett Schreiber picked up his second loss of the season.
Seniors Jared Hammer, Chris Nardo, and Joe Perez led the Pride with two hits each while knocking in a run.
Senior Joe Burg got the start in the middle game of the series and continued to pitch well, leaving after six innings with the lead.
However, the bullpen struggled once again surrendering 13 runs over the final two innings to lose 15-3.
Burg gave up just two runs over six innings as the Pride led 3-2 heading into the eighth inning but it took six Hofstra relievers to end the game. Junior Bryan Verbitsky picked up his second loss of the year.
Junior Kenny Jackson led the Pride with three hits.
The Pride pitching could not find its way in the series finale as well as starting pitcher Dave Jesch, in his first start of the year, lasted just 2/3 of an inning, giving up three runs.
Hofstra gave up runs in seven of the nine innings and dropped the contest 14-8. The Pride also walked 13 Tiger batters in the game.
“We’ve got to come out and pitch better,” said Russo. “I didn’t really like what I saw mechanically from the pitchers out there today.”
Junior T.J. Ehrsam led the Pride with three hits with Hammer leading the team with three RBIs.
Hammer, the preseason pick for conference player of the year, has picked up his play as of late with his average above .300 for the first time this year. He also has a team high 12 RBIs.
“He’s the guy right now,” said Russo. “The last six or seven games he was really able to be counted on.”
The Pride has a couple of non-conference opponents coming up next, battling Fordham University and the University of Rhode Island.