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Steven Boscia fires a gem as Hofstra snaps losing streak

Steven Boscia fires a gem as Hofstra snaps losing streak

The Hofstra baseball team ended its seven-game losing streak, defeating Manhattan College 2-0 in the home opener Tuesday, April 2, at University Field. Steven Boscia pitched a gem for the Pride while Anthony D’Onofrio and Alex Sica drove in the only two runs. The win improved Hofstra to 4-18 on the season, while Manhattan fell to 8-19.

“It was great to be home,” Hofstra head coach John Russo said. “Opening the season with 21 road games is really tough and I think the guys were really excited to be at home today.”

The Pride jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when D’Onofrio brought in Jimmy Joyce with a sacrifice fly. It all started when Joyce reached base on a throwing error from Manhattan pitcher Nick Massa. Later in the inning, Massa threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt to first base, which allowed Joyce to get all the way to third. After Vito Friscia walked, D’Onofrio gave Hofstra the early lead with the sac fly.

The Jaspers had a huge opportunity in the fourth inning when they put two runners on base with a single from Dominic Palma and a walk from Alex Cerda. Boscia got out of the jam with ease and got the next batter, Santiago Riera, to ground out into a fielder’s choice.

In the eighth inning, Hofstra struck again, this time with an RBI double by Sica. Two batters later after Sean Rausch walked, Sica hit a fly ball down the right field line that dropped in just fair.

Jack Jett came on in the seventh inning for Hofstra and fired three shutout innings to earn the save. There was not much offense, but the dominant pitching allowed Hofstra to get the win. Boscia got the start for the Pride and did not disappoint, pitching six shutout innings while allowing only three hits on the afternoon. He allowed only two Manhattan runners to reach scoring position.

“I was really finding the zone with my fastball and working off that with a few off-speeds,” Boscia said. “I had a good feel for most of my pitches coming out of the bullpen and I wanted to just trust myself.”

It was a great way for him to rebound after a few rough outings earlier this season. He came into the day with an earned run average above nine.

Boscia also got some help from his defense today, with Daniel Page making several outstanding plays at third base.

“It’s amazing to see what he does,” Boscia said. “You can even go back to the second inning where the team is saying get on two to the batter and there he is making another outstanding play.”

Hofstra manufactured only four hits on the day, but made them count when they needed it.

 “I was really excited for Alex to get a big hit there and I think it just motivated the team. We needed it,” Russo said.

Hofstra continues its two-game home stretch on Wednesday, April 3, when they host Long Island University Brooklyn at 3 p.m. The Pride will look to build off this win against the Blackbirds, who hold a record of 8-16.

Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics

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