FAIRFIELD, CT – The Saint Peter's University baseball team held leads in all three games of the series against the defending MAAC Champions, Fairfield University but failed to get their first win of the season as the Stags took the series. On Saturday afternoon, the Stags won both games of a doubleheader over the Peacocks, winning 3-2 and 6-4. The Peacocks MAAC record drops to 0-9 and the teams overall record drops to 0-18 on the season.
"We played well in both games but just couldn't pull out the win over Fairfield," said head coach Danny Ramirez. "Our pitching was solid and our hitters had much better approaches at the plate. In game one, a couple early errors on defense came back to haunt us. In game two, we were leading until late in the game but our bullpen could not hold the lead. All in all we are playing much better and the team is optimistic about their upcoming games."
For the second consecutive game, the Peacocks scored all of their runs in the opening inning. Leadoff hitter, Paul Schifilliti (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East) opened the game with a single for the second straight game against the Stags. Hunter Mason (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) followed with a double to left center that put Schifilliti in scoring position. Mike Ionta (Westfield, NJ/Westfield) drove in the first run as Schifilliti scored on Ionta's ground out to second base. The Peacocks lead extended to 2-0 after Cole Robbins (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East) singled to center field, earning an RBI as Mason crossed home plate.
Saint Peter's starting lefty, Michael Ammerman (Howell, NJ/Howell (Ocean Community College)) (0-3) retired the side in consecutive innings, as the Peacocks still held onto a 2-0 lead heading into the third inning.
Fairfield responded in the bottom of the third inning as the Stags scored three unearned runs to take the 3-2 lead. Mike Conti got on base by way of a single. Tyler Gambardella then reached base on an error by the Peacocks. With two outs, Jack Gethings hit a double, earning two RBIs to knot the game at 2-2. In the next at bat, Kevin Radziewicz doubled down the infield line, earning the go-ahead RBI as Fairfield took the lead at 3-2.
Following the third inning, both starting pitchers, Ammerman and Fairfield's Gavin Wallace locked in as they combined to only allow just three hits and strike out six for the remainder of the game in the final four innings of the seven inning game.
Ammerman finished the complete game with three strike outs and no earned runs, while winning Fairfield pitcher Wallace struck out seven Peacocks but gave up the two earned runs. Neither pitcher walked any batters faced.
Schifilliti, Mason, Ionta, and Robbins each went 1-for-3 for the Peacocks with Iona and Robbins getting an RBI and Schifilliti and Mason scoring runs.
Fairfield scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning to open the game with a 2-0 lead. Radziewicz singled to left field, scoring Gethings from third base for the first run. Then Mac Crispino hit an RBI single that scored Radziewicz from third base.
In the top of the third inning, the Peacocks answered as Nick Ciocco (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill) hit a double with bases loaded that cleared the bases scoring Angel Perez (Jersey City, NJ/Marist HS), Schifilliti, and Ionta, to give Saint Peter's a 3-2 advantage.
Saint Peter's added another run in the fourth inning as Hunter scored from third base after Schifilliti hit into a double play, extending the Peacock lead to 4-2.
The Stags scored one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, cutting the Peacocks lead to 4-3.
As the Peacocks clinged to a 4-3 lead in the seventh, starting pitcher, Jake Regina (Rutherford, NJ/Rutherford (Gloucester CC)) got pulled from the contest after pitching 6.1 innings, striking out five, and surrendering four earned runs. Fairfield put together a two hit, three run seventh, triggered by Radziewicz's three RBI double that cleared the loaded bases, giving the Stags a 6-4 lead.
In the both the eighth and ninth innings, the Peacocks went three up, three down, as they failed to secure the comeback win.
Reliever, Anthony Ramos (North Bergen, NJ/North Bergen) (0-1) earned the loss as he surrendered two runs in the seventh that gave Fairfield the lead and win.
Ciocco had a team-best three RBIs in the win, while Schifilliti went a team-best 2-for-5 and scored one run.
Saint Peter's will continue the 15-day road trip with meetings against New Jersey foes, NJIT on Tuesday, April 18 at 6pm and Fairleigh Dickinson on Wednesday, April 19 at 3:30pm.