The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team dropped an East Coast Conference double-header to LIU Post, 6-3 and 15-7, at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, NY. The Spartans now stand at 9-9 overall on the season and 0-2 in ECC action, with LIU Post improving to 10-8, 2-0.
Post jumped in front in the opener on Dave Brehm's two-run homer in the 1st and a solo shot by Rob Andreoli in the 3rd to make the score 3-0. The Spartans got two back in the visiting 4th on Anthony Shkrelja's solo homer and Chris Ruiz coming home on a balk, before tying the game on an Anthony Maisano RBI single in the 6th.
Jimmy Mendyk's run-scoring single in the home 7th proved to be the deciding blow, with the Pioneers tacking on a pair of insurance runs in the following frame. Chad Sinko took the relief loss for the Spartans with Jake DeCarli picking up the win. Maisano was the hitting standout for STAC, with three hits.
In the nightcap, the Spartans looked to turn the tables early, with two-run homers by Giovanni Dingcong and Joey Pena in each of the first two frames giving STAC an early 4-1 lead. That would only hold until the bottom of the 3rd, when LIU Post combined six hits with a pair of Spartan errors for a big 8-run inning, taking a 9-4 lead.
They added a pair of runs in each of the following two innings, and the game was well out of reach when Pena and Ruiz belted 9th inning homers, with the rally coming up far short. Pena come up with a huge 5-for-5 in that second game, but it was not enough as John Bednarek was tagged with the loss, as Noah Lorenzo grabbed the Pionners' win.
The teams will return to Yaphank to complete the four-game series with a twin-bill on Sunday, March 26, starting at 5:00 pm. The Spartans will serve as the home teams for those games.