FAIRFIELD, CONN.- A four-RBI performance by senior infielder Matt Speckmann (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West) led the Peacocks to a split against the Fairfield University Stags this afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. The Peacocks lost the front end of today's doubleheader by a score of 7-1 and won the nightcap, 8-7.
Saint Peter's now stands at 9-16 on the year and 3-2 in MAAC action. Fairfield is also 9-16 overall and 3-5 in MAAC contests.
Speckmann finished 3-for-4 and drove in three runs in the second game, while teammate William Rawson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Matt Mancini (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) and Jon Kristofferson (Jefferson, N.J./Jefferson Township High School) also finished with multi-hit games in the win. Kristofferson finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, while Mancini finished 2-for-5.
Mathew Yuhas (Freehold, NJ / Freehold Boro) received the victory, after tossing six innings and striking out two. Yuhas stands at 4-2 on the year.
Ethan Jackson (Howell, N.J./Colts Neck) notched his third save of the year, pitching the final inning.
Saint Peter's jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, and tacked on three more in the third to establish a commanding 6-0 run over the host Stags, but Fairfield scored two of their own in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to four.
With the bases loaded in the first, freshman Robert Moore (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood High School) delivered a one-out single through the right side to bring home Nick Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) and Mancini. An RBI base-hit by Rawson two batters later accounted for the third run of the game.
Rawson added his second RBI of the game two innings later, putting down a bunt single which allowed Moore to cross home plate (4-0). After a single by freshman Kristofferson, game-two hero Matt Speckmann would single through the middle to drive in two (6-0).
Fairfield scored two in the bottom of the third, and added two more in the fourth to get within two.
Saint Peter's was able to regain separation in the top of the seventh; scoring both on a two-run double by Speckmann to left center. Kristoffersen and Rawson both scored on the play, after they each walked to get on base.
The game took a turn for the dramatic in the bottom of the inning, as the Stags took their final turn at bat. Sal Ciccone and Alex Witkus recorded back-to-back singles to force Peacock Head Coach Sean Cashman to bring in Jackson from the bullpen in relief of Yuhas. A fielder's choice put runners on first and third, before a single by Rob LoPinto brought home Ciccone. Anthony Hajjar followed up with a two-RBI double to make it a one-run game. Despite allowing a walk in the next at bat, Jackson was able to force a fly out and then strike out the last batter of the game to end the Stags' scoring chances.
Game one seemed to be an even-matched contest, as both teams were knotted at one heading into the sixth. Fairfield soon scored two in the sixth and added four more in the eighth however to secure the decisive six-run victory.
Saint Peter's scored their lone run in the first on a passed ball. Speckmann opened the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and then third on a groundout by Pat Farrell (Jersey City, N.J./Marist) before crossing home on the miscue.
The Peacocks managed just five total hits in the game and committed four errors.
Zach Hopf (Woodbridge, N.J./Woodbridge) received the game one loss, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.
Three Stags finished with multi-hit games in the win: Sebastian Salvo (2-for-4), LoPinto (2-for-5) and Ciccone (3-for-3).
Saint Peter's will go for the series win tomorrow afternoon at 12pm on Alumni Diamond.