Moscatiello Shines in Opener, Spartans Settle for Split vs. SNHU

Moscatiello Shines in Opener, Spartans Settle for Split vs. SNHU

The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team split a twin-bill with Southern New Hampshire University, winning the opener, 1-0, before dropping the nightcap, 7-6. The recent snow storms forced cancelation of the originally-scheduled series against St. Anselm, thus the Penmen were a late addition to the schedule with the set played in Yaphank, NY. STAC now stands at 8-7 on the season, with SNHU now at 12-4.

In the opener, the Spartans required just four batters to get on the scoreboard, as Giovanni Dingcong's two-out double plated Mark Shkrelja. Amazingly, that was to be the only run of the contest. Frankie Moscatiello was dominant, retiring eight straight - seven by strikeout - in the first three innings.

Although his no-hitter was broken up in the home 5th, the junior right-hander continued to dominate, allowing just two hits while striking out 14 over eight spectacular innings of work against the region's top-ranked team. Anthony Morris came on to earn his first save, working a scoreless 9th.

STAC, ranked #4 in last week's regional poll, jumped on top in game two with a four-run third inning, looking for the sweep. Anthony Maisano drove in a run with a single, Shkrelja added a sac fly, and Dingcong hit a two run shot as the Spartans grabbed a 4-0 lead.

SNHU finally broke through in the bottom of the 4th, recording five runs on as many hits against Chris Cepeda, last week's ECC Pitcher of the Week. The Spartans rallied to tie the score at 5-5 in the 7th on Joey Pena's two out, RBI single, but a costly error in the bottom of the 8th allowed a pair of unearned runs.

St. Thomas Aquinas mounted a rally in the final frame, cutting the margin to 7-6 on a Mike Morgan run-scoring single with none out. Juan Adorno's bunt was misplayed, but the opportunity was cut short as Morgan was caught in a rundown and tagged out, leaving the tying run as second, where it would remain as the final two outs were recorded.

Pena had three hits and Dingcong and Ruiz added two each, as Chris Pennell was tagged with the tough loss, charged with decisive unearned runs.

As the inclement weather continues to wreak havoc on the schedule, Tuesday's scheduled contest against Bloomfield has been canceled, and Thursday's game against Saint Rose will be played at Diamond Nation in Flemington, NJ. Be sure to check the schedule page for the latest STAC baseball schedule.