Peacocks Pluck Blackbirds; Baseball Secures 18-8 Win In Non-Conference Action

JERSEY CITY, N.J.- Three Peacocks recorded multi-hit games, while over seven drove in at least two runs, as the Saint Peter's University baseball team came away with a commanding 18-8 win over the visiting LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds in their home opener. 

With the win, Saint Peter's improves to 8-15 and LIU-Brooklyn falls to 4-18. 

Saint Peter's 18 runs are the most the squad has scored since the 2008 season; when they scored 20 in a five-run win over Fairleigh Dickinson on April 16th. 

"It was nice to be home after a season-opening 22 game road trip", commented Head Coach Sean Cashman. "Our guys came out today and put in a good team effort. Hopefully we can build off of today and carry momentum into our weekend series against Fairfield."

Pat Farrell (Jersey City, N.J./Marist), James Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) and Robert Moore (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood High School) each finished with two hits in the win. Saint Peter's recorded their second most hits on the year; finishing with 15 total. 

Farrell drove in two runs and scored three, Smith drove in three and scored one and Moore drove in three and scored two. 

Matt Speckmann (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) also finished with two RBIs and two runs, as he went 1-for-2 on the night. 

Nicholas Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus), James Spadaccini (Butler, N.J./Butler High School) and Brian Schroeder (Iselin, N.J./JFK-Iselin) also drove in a pair of runs each.

Kevin Croucher (Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic) earned his first win on the year; pitching three scoreless innings in relief of starter Matt Mancini (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) to earn the victory. Croucher gave up just three hits and struck out three. 

John Ziznewski, Kevin Needham and Jesse Brown each finished with three hits for the Blackbirds. 

Saint Peter's took an early 1-0 lead over the visitors on an RBI single by Smith to bring home Farrell. LIU-Brooklyn responded with a run in the following inning to tie the game, but the Peacocks regained the advantage in the bottom of the second on a base hit by Spadaccini (2-1). 

The Blackbirds bounced back in the third however, tallying two runs to take a 3-2 lead. 

The Peacocks' offense would surge forward in the next two innings; scoring 12 total runs in the third and fourth combined. 

Saint Peter's managed to load the bases with no outs in the third, but didn't score any runs until they had two outs. Moore scored the first run of the inning after Speckmann was hit by a pitch, and a two-RBI single up the middle by Farrell made the score 5-3. Henriquez followed up with a run-scoring base hit of his own to extend the Peacocks' lead to three, and Smith recorded the final RBI of the frame on a ground-rule double to bring home Farrell.

Croucher entered the game in relief of Mancini in the top of the fourth, and despite allowing one hit kept the Blackbirds scoreless. The Peacocks padded their lead in the bottom of the inning; scoring seven on three hits and an error.

A three-run homerun by Moore capped the seven-run inning to give the hosts a 15-3 lead. The four-bagger was the Peacocks' first homer of the season, and Moore's first of his career.

The tandem of Kroucher and Nathaniel Leon (Brooklyn, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) kept the Blackbirds scoreless and scattered a mere two hits over the next four innings, while the Peacocks' offense tacked on a run in the sixth and three in the seventh.

LIU-Brooklyn would rally back for five runs on on three hits and three errors off Leon in the ninth, before the righty struck out Albert Faz to conclude the contest. 

Leon would pitch the last three innings and give up five runs (one earned) on three hits, while striking out three to earn the first save of his career. 

Saint Peter's returns to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action this weekend; with a three-game series against Fairfield University on the road.