The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team wrapped up the 2019 season by dropping an East Coast Conference pair to New York Institute of Technology, 7-5 and 12-1. The Spartans finish at 18-28 overall and 10-18 in the ECC, while NYIT takes the #2 seed into the conference tournament, currently standing at 31-12, 21-7.
Senior Chris Cepeda got his final start on Senior Day and was outstanding through the first five shutout innings. NYIT broke through for three in the sixth and STAC answered with one in the bottom half as Andrew Jemison's RBI single brought in senior Cris Ruiz. The Bears added single runs in the seventh and ninth but the Spartans were not done yet, rallying to tie the score in the bottom half as James Versage singled in one run, Jon Cepeda doubled in two, and Angelo Baez brought in the tying run with a sac fly.
Chris Cepeda continued his marathon effort into the tenth before he was finally chased after throwing 163 pitches as NYIT pushed across the decisive runs to claim the win. Cepeda finished the season with a 5-6 record.
STAC grabbed a first inning lead in the nightcap on senior Michael Morgan's first-inning sac fly, and senior Scott Hannon held that lead until being touched for four runs in the third. Tech added one in the fourth and broke the game open with a seven-run fifth inning to close out the scoring. The highlight of the day for the Spartans came in their final inning in the field. With none out and runners at first and second, Joseph Pesce's looping fly ball was nicely tracked down by shortstop Jon Cepeda, who tossed to second baseman Michael D'Andrea to catch one runner off base, with the return throw to first baseman Brian Donnelly completing a triple play. Hannon worked the first four innings in taking the loss.