The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team fell short in both ends of an East Coast Conference double-header at LIU Post, 13-9 and 8-7. By virtue of Friday's win, STAC had already clinched the top seed for the upcoming ECC Tournament. The Spartans dropped to 33-12 overall and 18-5 in the ECC with the loss, with LIU Post - having clinched the #3 seed - improving to 27-18, 15-8.
Game one was a wild slugfest with the Spartans jumping to an early 5-2 lead only to see Post take charge with a nine-run fourth inning explosion. STAC rallied in the final innings but fell short as ace starter Frankie Moscatiello fell to 7-2 with the loss. Joseph Pena went 4-for-6 while Cris Ruiz added three hits for the visitors, while Ramger Iglesias went 4-for-4 for the Pioneers.
Juan Adorno and Bobby Morse each tallied RBI hits in the first inning, but Joe Spitaleri's triple in the home half keyed a two-run rally as STAC held a 3-2 edge after one frame. Jonathan Meaney and Pena each brought in runs in the third, but again the Pioneers responded with a pair to make the tally 5-4 after three.
Spartans ace Frankie Moscatiello struggled throughout, walking the first two in the bottom of the fourth, and even a bizarre break didn't help his cause. Zach Fritz followed with what should have been a three-run homer, but Anthony Vaglica passed Michael Manzione on the basepaths for an out, as two runs were credited. That didn't stop Post's momentum, as they recorded eight hits against four different STAC pitchers to blow the game open at 13-5.
STAC mounted a comeback with a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth, keyed by a Giovanni Dingcong RBI single and a two-run double from Cris Ruiz, but that was as close as they were to come.
In the second game, the script was similar as St. Thomas Aquinas was unable to hold an early 4-1 lead as the hosts rallied for a 7-4 advantage. STAC tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the sixth on Bobby Morse's three-run homer, but Post pushed across a walkoff run in the home seventh to seal the win. Anthony Shkrelja also homered as Angelo Baez dropped to 4-2 on the season with the loss. Iglesias completed a perfect day by going 3-for-3 in the nightcap, totaling seven hits in as many at bats for the afternoon. Brian Kavanagh worked the final 1.2 innings to take the victory for LIU Post.
Once again, the Spartans jumped on top, overcoming a first-inning tally by the Pioneers with a four-run second to jump on top. Anthony Shkrelja gave his team the lead with a two-run homer, and back-to-back RBI doubles by Morse and Michael Morgan completed the scoring. The fourth inning was the charm again for LIU Post, as Rob Andreoli's two-run single capped a four run rally to make the score 5-4. Jasiah Greene homered in a two-run fifth, giving the Pioneers a 7-4 advantage.
Morse brought STAC even at 7-7 with his three-run shot in the sixth, and the Spartans left runners at third in each of the last two innings as Post cashed in with Spitaleri's sac fly with bases loaded and one out bringing home the winning run.
Please note - Sunday's scheduled Senior Day finale has been postponed due to inclement weather in the forecast. The game is now rescheduled for 7:00 pm Monday night at Palisades Credit Union Park, with pregame ceremonies to start approximately 30 minutes prior to first pitch.