The Hofstra baseball team’s inability to capitalize in the first inning off a struggling Eli Oliphant helped Fairlfield University to a 9-3 win over the Pride on Wednesday afternoon in Connecticut.
Oliphant, who started the game for the Stags, walked the first batter he faced. He struck out Teddy Cillis for the first out of the inning, but then proceeded to walk the next three batters, putting the Pride up 1-0. With the bases loaded and one out, Daniel Page and Parker Quinn each struck out swinging to end the inning. Oliphant settled in during the next three innings and was able to limit the Pride to just one run and one hit, despite walking seven batters.
In the bottom of the inning, Kevin Radziewicz drove in two runs for the Stags but was thrown out trying to stretch a double to a triple. Drew Blake hit a home run for the third run off of Pride starter Brad Camarda.
By the fifth inning, Fairfield staked a 5-1 lead. Hofstra got within two runs in the sixth inning after Tyler White hit a two-run double to make it 5-3, but the Stags put any thoughts of a comeback to bed with a four-run seventh inning. The two RBI were White’s first of the season.
Seamus Brazill entered the game in relief for the Pride in the bottom of the innings. A single and hit batter put runners on base for Mitch Williams, who hit a RBI single. Tom Ryan hit a double to left center to make it 8-3 and a final RBI single from Jack Gethings capped off the scoring.
The Pride loaded the bases again with two outs in the top of the eight, but Cillis struck out looking to end the inning. Cillis earned himself a golden sombrero, striking out four times.
Both teams combined to leave 22 runners on base. Hofstra fell to 14-11, while Fairfield improved to 12-16 overall. The Stags are also extended their four-game win streak.
Hofstra now heads to Elon to open an important Colonial Athletic Association series on Friday night. Both teams enter the weekend with 4-5 records in conference play and will be looking to improve their standing as the midway point of the season comes around. John Rooney will be on the bump for the Pride. Rooney is 5-0 this season with a 1.29 ERA and 63 strikeouts. He’ll face Elon’s Kyle Brnovich, who is 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 83 strikeouts.
First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.