The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team came up short in a 5-2 loss at Adelphi University. The Spartans remain winless on the young season, dropping to 0-5 while Adelphi's contest was its season opener.
With STAC ace Chris Cepeda on the hill, the Panthers wasted little time jumping in front, posting a pair in the home first as an infield error set the stage for an RBI single by Brandon Morse. The Spartans answered with one in the third when Anthony Maisano lashed a two-out double and came in on Michael Morgan's run-scoring single.
In the bottom half, however, the Panthers added to their lead with a three spot, keyed by back-to-back RBI singles by Morse and Lucas Terwilliger, with a third run scoring on a wild pitch to make the tally 5-1. Cepeda settled in and the Spartans had a big chance in the top of the seventh when Nicolas Luc walked the bases loaded with one out, but Kieran McLaughlin came on in relief to yield a sacrifice fly to Chris Ruiz and the Spartans stranded a pair.
STAC threatened again with the bases loaded in the eighth but was unable to come up with the timely hit as the visitors stranded 14 runners on the afternoon. Despite being touched early, Cepeda had a solid outing, allowing three earned runs on eight hits over seven innings of work, fanning nine without a walk. In 14.0 innings over his first two starts, Cepeda has struck out 18 opposing batters without yielding a walk. Maisano had two hits and scored both runs for St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Spartans will wrap up the brief series back at Adelphi on Thursday, March 1, in another 3:00 pm start. (Please note - games vs. Adelphi were originally scheduled for March 2 and 3, moved to February 28 and March 1 due to forecasted inclement weather).