Eight-Run 7th Inning Explosion Carries Spartans to 11-5 Decision against Nyack

Eight-Run 7th Inning Explosion Carries Spartans to 11-5 Decision against Nyack

The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team rallied for a 11-5 non-conference decision over Nyack College on the strength of an eight-run seventh inning at the newly-renamed Palisades Credit Union Park (formerly Provident Bank Park). STAC, ranked #3 in the East Region in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association Poll, improved to 29-10 with its eighth win in the last nine games, while Nyack now stands at 13-23.

Despite the final score, there were some anxious moments as the Warriors took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth. That was short-lived, however, as Deven Del Priore, John DeAngelis, and Joseph Pena each had two-run hits in the decisive seventh-inning outburst as John Bednarek battled through six tough innings for the win.

Michael Morgan's sac fly put the Spartans on top in the second, and a Nyack miscue tacked on a run to make it 2-0 an inning later. Nyack tied the score in the home third as a fielding error yielded a pair of unearned runs.

That score held until the bottom of the sixth when Coyote Sokolski's two out, RBI single put the Warriors on top for the first time. STAC would erase that deficit and add insurance before an out was recorded in the following frame, as timely hitting and wild pitching combined in the deciding rally.

Juan Rodriguez started the inning on the hill and promptly walked Pena and Brandon Fischer to set the table. Tony Campbell came on to pitch and didn't fare any better, as Del Priore laced a double to bring home both runners and put the Spartans back on top. ECC Player of the Week Giovanni Dingcong walked, as did Rich Cesca, Jr., loading the bases.

Jon McGugan recorded a somewhat painful RBI, getting hit by a pitch, and an ensuing wild pitch brought another home to make the tally 6-3. With one out, DeAngelis brought home two runs with a single, and Pena would cap the barrage by bringing home another pair with a big hit, expanding the gap to 10-3.

Fischer rounded out the Spartan surge with a ninth inning sac fly, and the Warriors mounted some late opposition with a pair in the bottom half but it was far too little, too late. Bednarek improved to 4-1 with the win, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits over his six inning stint.

The Spartans return to action on Thursday, April 28, hosting Felician University in a 3:30 pm non-conference start at Palisades Credit Union Park. They will then begin a four-game East Coast Conference set against the University of Bridgeport, which features a home double-header at noon on Saturday.

- Steve Balsan, St. Thomas Aquinas Sports Information

- Photo by Dorice Arden