Rooney suffers first loss despite stellar outing
A solid start for John Rooney was not enough, as the Hofstra baseball fell to Northeastern University 5-1 in game one of a three-game set Friday at University Field.
“I think [Northeastern] just outplayed us today,” said Hofstra head coach John Russo.
Rooney went seven innings, giving up two earned runs and two walks (two HBP), while striking out seven.
“It may be one of my favorite performances of the year, because he didn’t have [his best stuff] today,” Russo said.
“What a bar we’re setting when everyone is a little depressed over seven innings and two earned.”
Northeastern starter Tyler Brown went seven scoreless innings, giving up six hits and struck out eight batters.
The offense for both teams was limited in the beginning of this game as both starting pitchers were locked in a pitcher’s duel.
Northeastern got two runners on in the first, but failed to score. Rooney successfully picked off Northeastern’s John Mazza in the second inning, giving him 14 on the year. Hofstra’s Vito Friscia showed off his gold glove capabilities with two backstop catches behind the dish.
Northeastern threatened in the fifth. Rooney got Jake Farrell to foul out to third base to end the inning with a huge fist pump.
Northeastern’s Ryan Soloman broke the scoreless tie with a solo home run in the sixth to make it 1-0. For Soloman, the home run was his team-leading seventh on the season. The home run was the first earned run given up by Rooney in his last 49.1 innings.
The Huskies added to their lead with an RBI single by Ian Fair scoring Mason Koppens making it 2-0 after the seventh.
To add insurance, Koppens drove in Jeff Costello on an RBI single in the ninth inning to make it 3-0. Hofstra junior Andrew Mundy was taken out due to injury, which resulted in a mound conference mix-up. Mundy was replaced by junior Seamus Brazill. Farrell added to the lead with a two-RBI double off Brazill to make it 5-0.
Hofstra finally got on the board with a solo home run by Vito Friscia, his sixth of the season to make it 5-1 as that score would stand.
Rooney earns his first loss of the season (7-1) while Tyler Brown improves to 6-3.
Despite the loss, Russo spoke highly on Rooney’s competitiveness.
“…To have the pressure of everyone here, the pressure of knowing who he is, and then to go out there and not have your best stuff. I think he showed everybody more today what kind of pitcher he is and what kind of kid he is,” he said.
Hofstra falls to 10-9 in CAA play (21-17 overall) while Northeastern improves to 13-3 (29-13 overall) holding onto the top spot in the conference.
The two teams face each other Saturday at 1 p.m. for game two of the series. Matt Weissheier gets the start for the Pride. The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.