A slow start at the plate for St. Joe’s didn’t hold them back, as the bats were unleashed in the fourth and propelled them to a 9-2 victory over Aquinas Institute Sunday afternoon.
The game was a pitching duel early as Colin Miller of Joes and Tim McMahon of Aquinas allowed no runs through two. However, despite Miller’s 6 Ks, a walk with the bases loaded followed by a wild pitch that allowed John Mason to steal home put the Irish up 2-0 and ended his day on the mound at 3.1 IP.
Following that rough patch, Matt Colucci came on in relief for the Marauders, and it was all Joes from then on.
“We were terrific defensively, our two middle infielders (Andrew Short and Ryan Sutherland) were excellent,” said Marauders head coach Paul Nasca. “Matt Colucci came on in relief and was absolutely lights out.”
The entire infield of Short at 2B, Sutherland at SS, Nicholas Falbo at 1B, Robert Principe at 3B and Dennis Gagliardo at C were a brick wall the whole contest and played superbly.
The Marauders were cold at the dish heading into the bottom of the fourth, mustering up only two hits to that point. However, the bats ignited, and an onslaught of eight runs gave the Maruaders a lead they would not concede.
“We were going through our second time through the order and saw some pitches. We worked the counts well and got some guys on base,” said Nasca.
The fourth inning explosion was led by an Alex D’Anniballe 2 RBI single which gave the Maruaders a 3-2 advantage, as well as a C.J. Falk double that scored another two runs. The Marauders chased two Aquinas pitchers off the mound and found themselves comfortably ahead after four, 8-2.
“We had good contributions throughout the lineup and everybody stayed with the game plan. Nobody panicked, we were only halfway through and we did a great job at holding on,” said Nasca.
Falk would later triple in the 5th inning and bring home Jacob Riester to give the Marauders their ninth run. Falk went 3 for 4 on the day with three RBIs, one run, and was just a home run shy of the cycle.
Colucci did his job on the mound to close things out, allowing just two hits, one BB, and 0 ER in 3.2 IP for his second win of the year (2-0), as a 6-3 double play capped off the Marauder win and put them at 2-0 on the season.
“We made some plays with our legs on the bases as well as with the bats. All in all it’s a great win to take our break out to Florida,” said Nasca.
With the season still being in its early stages, the Marauders know where they need to improve.
“The big emphasis is on the pitchers throwing strikes,” said Nasca. “We got into a little trouble early because we lost the plate, but minus that we didn’t give them much. All day long are pitchers were good except for that spell with a couple walks and we want them to keep pumping the strike zone.”