Baseball begins season with loss to UIW
The Hofstra baseball team kicked off their season on the wrong foot, taking a 9-1 loss to the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Michael James got the start for the Pride, getting tagged with the loss after pitching four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and striking out two batters.
James had early issues with his control that persisted throughout his outing. In the first inning, he walked and hit a batter, getting into a bases loaded jam with one out. He worked his way through it, but the second inning was not as kind to him. He hit the first batter of the inning and walked the second. This led to the first run of the game scoring after an Austin Gauthier error on a double steal by the Cardinals. James finished his night with four walks and two hit batsmen, allowing him to give up four runs despite only surrendering three hits.
Aside from James’ struggles, the Pride offense had problems getting any sort of momentum going against Incarnate Word’s Luke Taggart. They recorded only two hits against Taggart: a hard hit single in the first inning by Vito Friscia and a single from Parker Quinn in the seventh inning. In between those two hits, Taggart had a stretch of 16 consecutive batters retired. Taggart also struck out 10 batters, keeping Hofstra hitters confused all night long.
Hofstra’s offense showed some late signs of life, getting runners in scoring position in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning. Unfortunately, only one opportunity yielded a run, as the Pride went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Rob Weissheier had the only RBI on the night for the Pride, putting a single through the left side in the ninth inning.
The Pride only recorded five hits on the night, the hardest of which being a two-out double from Quinn in the top of the ninth – his second hit of the night. Additionally, second baseman Myles Mensah recorded his second hit in his second career start.
Despite errors from Sean Rausch and Gauthier, the Pride made a couple defensive gems, reminiscent of the team that finished No. 2 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in fielding percentage. Friscia caught his first runner stealing, throwing out one in four steal attempts. Additionally, right fielder Vinnie Costello made an impressive shoestring diving catch in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In James’ relief was junior Steven Boscia. Boscia’s outing, which began solid, was spoiled from a three-run home run hit on his final pitch. He struck out two batters and allowed one earned run in 3 1/3 innings. In total, he allowed five runs, four of which were earned. Jack Anderson came in to finish the game for the Pride, recording their last two outs and striking out a batter.
The Pride will get three more chances at revenge against the Cardinals, including a double-header this Saturday in San Antonio.
Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics