FAIRFIELD, Conn. – It might not have been easy but good teams usually find ways to win and that is exactly what the Fairfield University baseball team did on Saturday. When they needed it the most, the Stags got the big hit and executed the big pitches and at the end of the day they leave Alumni Diamond with their first series sweep of the season. The Stags defeated Saint Peter’s in both games of the doubleheader with scores of 3-2 and 6-4.
“Certainly we were frustrated a lot this weekend with the change of speeds,” Head Coach Bill Curriersaid. “Give their pitchers credit, they kept mixing it and it seemed like we guessed wrong every time. But we hung tough and got key hits when we needed it.”
The Stags (16-14, 7-2 MAAC) would have to mount a comeback in all three games of the series, and the two today caused a few tense moments.
In the first game, Saint Peter’s (0-18, 0-9 MAAC) took a 2-0 lead as they put up a two spot in the first inning off starter Gavin Wallaceafter a RBI groundout and a run scoring single. The Peacocks put the ball in the hands of their starter Michael Ammerman who looked like he would cruise for the game. In fact, Ammerman needed just 14 pitches to retire the first seven batters of the game as he held a 2-0 lead in the third.
While it might not show in the box score, Michael Conti’s at-bat in the third changed the momentum of the game. Conti worked the count full, becoming the first batter of the game to see more than three pitches in an at-bat against Ammerman. Conti would reach on an infield single, and the Stags found their groove.
Jack Gethings, who was one of the offensive difference makers of the series, tied the game with a long two-run double. It would be the first of three extra base hits he slugged in the doubleheader. Gethings would later score on a RBI double from Kevin Radziewicz, the first of two game-winning doubles Radziewicz would record today.
That is all Wallace would need as he settled down after the two run first, allowing only an infield bunt single the rest of the way. That single came in the sixth and was one of only two Peacocks to reach base after the first, the other coming on a fielding error. At one point, Wallace retired 11-straight hitters and came within one pitch of striking out the side in order in the fifth on nine pitches.
Both pitchers were economical in the seven-inning game as the game last just over an hour with the Stags taking a narrow 3-2 decision.
The second game had even more tense moments as the Stags trailed 4-2 going into the fifth. Gethings led off the frame with his first career homer to make it a one-run contest, which held until the seventh inning.
With one out, Tyler Gambardellawent the other way on the first pitch he saw, singling into left. That would be the 100th and final pitch that Peacocks starter Jake Regina threw and the Stags would take the lead from their bullpen. After back-to-back walks loaded the bases, Radziewicz cleared the bases with a double down the line plating the final three runs of the game.
Mike Bonaiutorecorded the final eight outs for the Stags in picking up his second win of the year. Kyle Dubewas charged with four runs, but three of those came on one swing of the bat as Nick Ciocco cleared the bases with a three-run double in the third. Like the rest of the Fairfield starters, Dube settled down and retired eight of the final nine batters he faced, striking out four of those hitters.
The Stags have now won five-straight series and are in the midst of a season-long five game winning streak. They will put that on the line when they welcome Fordham to campus on Tuesday at 3:30pm as the first of two midweek home games on the week’s ledger.