The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team swept an East Coast Conference double-header against LIU Post, 2-0 and 7-2, at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, NY. The Spartans improve to 11-9 on the season and 2-2 in ECC play, dropping Post to 10-10, 2-2.
Last week's ECC Pitcher of the Week, Moscatiello picked up where he left off, retiring his first eight batters faced while holding the Pioneers to just an infield hit through four innings. LIU Post starter James Varela also started strong, keeping the game scoreless until the home 4th inning.
Mark Shkrelja led off with a double into the left field corner and moved up on a Giovanni Dingcong bunt single. Anthony Shkrelja's ground rule double brought in his brother with the game's first run, and Dingcong came home on a two out fielding error.
With only two runners having reached base to that point, the Pioneers threatened in the 6th. Joe Spitaleri led off with a single and moved to third on Rob Andreoli's hit, with the latter stealing second to put runners in scoring position with nobody out. After a strikeout, Kenny Daley's hot shot through the box caught Moscatiello on the leg, but the hurler recovered in time to catch Spitaleri in a rundown for the second out.
Not only did he remain in the game, Moscatiello worked out of that jam and allowed only a 9th inning single the rest of the way, striking out 11 while walking just one over his four-hit shutout, extending his string of scoreless innings to 21.2.
STAC jumped out to a 3-0 lead on just one hit in the first inning of the nightcap. Anthony Maisano drew the first of three walks in the frame and came in on a balk by starter Nick Schoen. A potential inning-ending fly ball by Chris Ruiz was misplayed by rightfielder Dave Brehm, allowing two runs to score.
Cepeda's only blemish came in the top of the 3rd on Spitaleri's RBI single, and his teammates provided insurance runs in the 5th. Three walks and a single failed to produce a run due to a caught stealing, but run-scoring walks by Deven Del Priore, Mike Morgan, and Nick Lucchese opened the lead to 6-1.
Thomas Asbaty stroked a solo homer for the Pioneers in the 6th, but Anthony Shkrelja tripled home Mark in the bottom half and Cepeda did the rest in closing out the victory, allowing six hits while fanning four and walking a pair.
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday for a big regional contest against Felician University in a game scheduled to be played at Palisades Credit Union park but which may be moved pending field conditions. STAC travels to Molloy for an ECC contest on Wednesday before tackling Queens for a four-game weekend conference set.