The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team completed a tough twin bill sweep of Nyack College, 12-9 and 4-3, at Diamond Nation in Flemington, NJ. The Spartans have won three straight and are now 4-1 overall while Nyack falls to 2-1.
STAC exploded early in game one, posting six runs in the top of the second to grab an early lead. Run scoring triples from Efrain Bautista and Nick Barbalato along with RBI singles from Ken Kirschner and Frank Salerno keyed the Spartan outburst. After Nyack answered with one in the third, a CJ Feriggi RBI grounder gave STAC a 7-1 margin through four innings.
Nyack would continue to chip away, with runs in each of the next six innings and, despite an RBI double by STAC's Derek Hirsch in the seventh, rallied to tie the game at 8-8 on a Cole Tobin two-run shot in the bottom half. The Spartans would respond quickly, with a Barbalato squeeze bunt putting them in front and a Mike Russo RBI double adding insurance. Kirschner would double in another in the 9th, followed by a run-scoring Salerno single, and Ferriggi would close the door in relief, earning the win for reliever Michael Donellan.
Russo and Salerno had three hits each and Barbalato drove in three runs in the victory. Spartan starter Eric Cooper allowed three earned runs in five innings of work but settled for the no-decision.
Game two would start in opposite fashion, with the Warriors pushing across a run in the top of the first and addiing two more in the fourth against STAC's Joe DePool. The Spartan bats - held to just one hit over the first three innings against Nyack starter Erik Puterio - came alive and would score all the runs they would need in the fourth.
Stanley Susana got the Spartans on the board with an RBI single, and Andrew Romanella evened the score with a two-run double into the gap in right-center. The deciding blow would come on an error, allowing Rich Baerga to score what would be the deciding run.
DePool would yield just two earned runs on three hits while fanning six over six strong innings of work. Robert Naughton pitched two hitless innings, followed by Ferriggi, who slammed the door for his second save of the day.
The Spartans return to action Monday, March 3 when they travel to Bloomfield College before opening their home season at Provident Bank Park against Pace University.