The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team suffered a double-header sweep at the hands of East Coast Conference foes LIU Post at Palisades Credit Union Park. The Spartans have now dropped seven straight to fall to 9-15 overall and 1-5 in conference play, while Post improves to 16-6 overall while remaining a perfect 7-0 in ECC action.
Game one was an intense battle and LIUP got on the board with the first batter of the day, as Giovanni Ciaccio tripled and scored on a throwing error to give the Pioneers a quick lead. STAC grabbed the lead in the home second as Tyler Patane scored on a wild pitch and Anthony Maisano followed with an RBI single to put the Spartans on top.
STAC starter John Greeley shook off the tough start and settled in nicely, keeping the visitors at bay while Angelo Baez' sac fly in the fifth put his team on top, 3-1. Greeley tired in the sixth, however, as he was greeted by Mike Manzione's booming leadoff homer to trim the lead to one. An infield hit and a walk brought his day to a close, and the Pioneers cashed in on reliever Christian Allegretti as James Mendyk's two run single put the visitors back on top at 4-3.
Jarred Vanderhoof's RBI single in the bottom half was the quick answer for the Spartans, getting Greeley off the hook, but Post's offense was beginning to heat up. Zach Fritz came through with a one-out grand slam and Mendyk's bases-loaded walk in the eighth opened a 9-4 gap. Andrew Jemison's RBI single capped a two run burst in the bottom half, trimming the deficit to 9-6, but LIUP answered with a pair of their own in the ninth to seal the win.
Allegretti took the loss in relief for the Spartans and Anthony Maisano had three hits to lead the STAC attack. Noah Lorenzo started and picked up the win, with Mike Lazos finishing up to earn the save.
Post started the second game as they did the first, scoring quickly to grab the lead. A pair of singles and a three-run homer by Dave Brehm made the score 3-0 after as many batters, and the Pioneers tacked on another in that frame and two more in the second to open a quick 6-0 advantage. STAC chipped away, starting with a pair in the third on Michael Morgan's run-scoring double and Vanderhoof's RBI single to draw closer at 6-2. Vanderhoof came through again in the fifth, bringing home Morgan on a triple to make the score 6-3.
Tyler Patane was stellar in relief, coming in to start the third inning and tossing four shutout frames before running into trouble in the seventh and final inning, as Ryan Dalton's two-run, bases-loaded double keyed a three-run uprising to more than offset Jemison's RBI groundout in the final inning. Alex Mack started and took the loss for St. Thomas Aquinas, with Mike Stiles tossing a seven-inning complete game for Post.
The Spartans are now off until Friday, April 5, when they return to ECC action for a weekend series against Molloy College. The set starts at Palisades Credit Union Park in Friday's 3:30 start, shifts to Long Island for a Saturday double-dip, and wrabps up on Sunday at PCU Park in a 2:00 pm first pitch.