The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team dropped a 3-1 decision to Franklin Pierce University before rebounding for a 12-5 victory over St. Augustine's in Cary, North Carolina. The games were the first of four at the US National Baseball Training Center, and began the team's seven-game road trip, with STAC now standing at 4-4 overall.
In the opener against East Regional power Franklin Pierce, Frankie Moscatiello turned in a strong performance, allowing just one run while fanning 10 over the first six innings, yet he departed on the short side of a 1-0 score. STAC rallied to tie the game in the 8th on a Joey Pena leadoff single, followed by an RBI double from Anthony Shkrelja.
That would not hold for long, however, as FPU pushed across a pair on four hits in the bottom half, dropping STAC to its third straight setback and making a complete game winner out of Ravens starter Cody McPartland.
With the schedule altered due to predicted inclement weather on Sunday, the Spartans had a quick turnaround, facing St. Augustine's in the nightcap. STAC wasted little time jumping on top, with Giovanni Dingcong's first-inning homer opening a 2-0 advantage.
STAC broke the game open with a five-run 3rd inning, with Mark Shkrelja starting the rally with a one-out single, to be tripled home by brother Mark. Dingcong opened the gap to 4-0 with run-scoring single, and RBI hits from Nicholas Luchese and Anthony Maisano helped build a 7-0 cushion.
Anthony Morris was strong in earning his third victory in as many outings, allowing only a pair of 4th inning unearned runs on three hits over his five innings of work. Dingcong drove in his fourth run of the day on a ground out in a three-run 6th as St. Thomas Aquinas cruised to the win while pounding out 13 hits.
The Spartans return to action in Cary with two more games on Saturday, meeting Rockland County rival Dominican College at noon before taking on Slippery Rock University starting at 4:00. STAC faced Slippery Rock in Dinwiddie, Virginia on February 26, with the Spartans claiming a 13-9 victory.