The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team captured its second double-header sweep in as many days, taking the East Coast Conference series against Lincoln University, 8-2 and 10-6. With the four-game sweep, the Spartans improve to 15-19 overall and 7-9 in the ECC, with Lincoln falling to 1-28, 0-16.
STAC jumped on top in the first inning of the opener with the aid of a pair of dropped fly balls and Tyler Patane's RBI double opened a 2-0 lead. Lincoln pushed across single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game, but Jarred Vanderhoof put the Spartans back on top with a run scoring grounder in the home fourth. TJ Gregory turned in a solid start, allowing those two runs over 5.1 innings before yielding to Scott Hannon, who was dominant in allowing one hit over 2.2 innings of work.
That gave the hosts time to blow the game open with four runs in the seventh, highlighted by a pair of steals of home. Dylan Klock walked with the bases loaded to force in an insurance run and Cris Ruiz followed with a sac fly to make the score 5-2. With runners at first and third, Anthony Maisano dashed from third on a pickoff throw to first, cleanly stealing home to add more insurance. Two batters later, Jared Vanderhoof also swiped the plate on the back end of a double-steal, and STAC tacked on another in the eighth on Maisano's run-scoring double.
Gregory improved to 2-2 in picking up the win and Maisano paced the 10-hit offense with three of his own while Lincoln's Marcos Castilllo was tagged with the loss despite allowing just one earned run over seven strong innings of work.
In the nightcap, the Lions jumped ahead on a two-run single by Aiden Gomes in the opening frame. The Spartans drew even in the third when Vanderhoof and Jonathan Meaney opened with back-to-back doubles and Andrew Jemison singled to tie the score at 2-2. The scrappy Lions regained the lead with a pair in the following frame but STAC answered quickly in the bottom half as Jemison made the score 4-4 with a two-run single.
St. Thomas Aquinas took the lead for good with three in the fifth, highlighted by an RBI single by James Versage and another by Vanderhoof, and Michael Morgan's sixth-inning blast opened the lead further to help offset a pair of Lincoln runs in the eighth.
Christian Allegretti earned the win with 3.2 outstanding innings of relief, not allowing a hit and striking out five while walking one. Angelo Baez came on with a pair on base in the eighth and closed the game out to earn his second save of the season. Jemison, Baez, and Vanderhoof had three hits each as STAC rapped out 14 on the evening.
The Spartans return to action with a four-game series against Mercy College, traveling for single games on Thursday, April 18, and Monday, April 22, with a home twin-bill on Saturday, April 20 at 1:00 pm at Palisades Credit Union Park.