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Six-run third inning dooms Pride in non-conference action

The Hofstra baseball team couldn’t keep Manhattan College off the basepath on Wednesday afternoon, walking 14 batters and surrendering six runs in the third inning on the way to a 12-4 loss to the Jaspers on a rainy day at University Field.

“I thought Manhattan played well, and we helped them out a lot,” said Hofstra head coach John Russo after the game.

Hofstra went with a pitch-by-committee approach against the Jaspers, with seven different pitchers taking the hill for the Pride on Wednesday. The loss was taken by Kyle Skidmore, who gave up three earned runs without recording a single out in the third inning.

It was in the third inning where Manhattan broke the game wide open, scoring six times on five hits and three walks. Jimmy Joyce came in to relieve Skidmore, but the freshman from Wantagh wouldn’t fare much better, surrendering a three-run homer to the second batter he faced, Michael Pfenninger.

The six-run outburst turned a 2-2 ballgame into a six-run lead for the Jaspers, and a three-spot for Manhattan in the seventh inning effectively put the game out of reach, sending Hofstra to its third straight loss.

The most effective outing for the Pride came from Michael James, who threw three scoreless innings of relief, from the fourth through the sixth inning. James only gave up one hit, but walked three batters, adding to a grand total of 14 free passes issued by Hofstra on Wednesday. Still, despite some command issues, James was able to keep the Jaspers off the scoreboard and stretch his scoreless streak to 11 1/3 innings.

Offensively, Hofstra was led by a homerun from Austin Gauthier and a pair of hits from Rob Weissheier and Parker Quinn. Daniel Page and Steven Foster each added RBI base hits as well.

Hofstra will get back to conference action on Friday afternoon when they host the University of Delaware for the first of a three-game set. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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