Pirates Set For BIG EAST Championship Opener Against Creighton

Halldan1

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The two teams split the series played earlier this month at Mike Sheppard, Sr. Stadium​


MASON, Ohio - The Seton Hall baseball team's 10th consecutive trip to the BIG EAST Baseball Championship Presented by Jeep begins on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. as the third-seeded Pirates clash once again with conference foe and No. 2 seed Creighton at Prasco Park in Mason, Ohio.

The game will be broadcast by the BIG EAST Digital Network presented by SoFi on YouTube.

PROJECTED STARTERS (subject to change)
Thursday - RHP Ryan McLinskey (4-1, 2.85 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Tebrake (8-0, 2.67 ERA) Live Stream | Live Stats

NEWS & NOTES
  • The Pirates' 10 consecutive appearances at the BIG EAST Championship is the longest active streak in the conference.
  • Seton Hall finished league play with 16 BIG EAST wins, the most in the conference.
  • The Pirates are 37-44 (.468) all-time at the BIG EAST Championship with three titles and five second place finishes.
  • The Pirates' No. 3 seed this weekend is its highest positioning since claiming the No. 2 seed in 2018 when The Hall reached the championship game.
  • Seton Hall, Connecticut and Xavier have each won three BIG EAST Tournament championships while Creighton won the last league title in 2019.
  • Two of the Pirates' three BIG EAST Tournament titles have come in the first year of a decade (2001 and 2011).
  • Rob Sheppard was the interim head coach for the 2001 championship while his father, Mike Sheppard, Sr., was recovering from triple bypass surgery before winning the 2011 title in his eighth season.
  • The BIG EAST All-Conference teams were announced on Wednesday and the Pirates had six selections; graduate student Matt Toke (Three Bridges, N.J.), senior Jerry Huntzinger (Staten Island, N.J.) and junior David Festa (Verona, N.J.) made the first team and senior Casey Dana (Montgomery, N.Y.), senior Tyler Burnham (East Brunswick, N.J.) and redshirt freshman Will Gale (Scotch Plains, N.J.) made the second team.
  • Huntzinger leads the BIG EAST and ranks 17th in the country with 24 stolen bases.
  • As a team, the Pirates lead the BIG EAST and rank 35th in the nation with 71 stolen bases.
  • Huntzinger (24), Gale (16) and Tyler Shedler-McAvoy (15) each rank in the top three in the conference stolen bags.
  • In BIG EAST play, Gale (.381) and Toke (.366) rank fourth and fifth respectively in batting average.
  • In seven career BIG EAST Tournament games, Shedler-McAvoy is hitting .320 (8-25) with seven runs scored and three RBI.
  • Toke is hitting .278 (10-for-36) with six runs, nine RBI, a double and two home runs in nine career BIG EAST Tournament games at Prasco Park.
  • Of Dana's four career hits at Prasco Park, one was a double and two were home runs.
  • After the coaching staff initially thought they were going to lose graduate student Connor Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa.) to a foot injury in the preseason, he battled back and returned in BIG EAST play where he's started 20 games at second base and is hitting .296 (21-for-71) with nine runs scored and seven RBI.
  • Festa ranks second in the conference in ERA (1.81) and opponent's batting average (.172).
  • In conference play, Burnham -- who struck out 14 batters and tossed a no-hitter vs. Georgetown on May 2 -- ranks sixth in both ERA (2.15) and opponent's batting average (.183).
  • Out of the bullpen, junior Nick Payero (Monroe, N.J.) has picked up three wins vs. BIG EAST teams in five appearances while senior Sean Miller (Newton, N.J.) owns a 1.86 ERA with three saves in conference play.
  • Last week at UConn, junior Justin Scotto (Tinton Falls, N.J.) came off the bench in three games and started one game in left field and he hit .500 (4-for-8) with a solo home run and two runs scored.
 

Halldan1

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Team Names123456789RHE
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HallB

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Two pet peeves in bottom of 9th and 3 run lead...two straight walks, and several pickoff attempts on a runner that means nothing if he scores.
 

catholicman

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We have a history of choking to Creighton. Let's change that history.

Some bizarre coaching decisions on our part in this game.
 
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NYC Pirate

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Two pet peeves in bottom of 9th and 3 run lead...two straight walks, and several pickoff attempts on a runner that means nothing if he scores.

This inning was so predictable. They have no closer to use in such an important inning!! Pathetic.
 

NYC Pirate

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both of creighton's big innings were built entirely on walks. that's called giving a game away

I just can’t understand that last inning. Ok give Cinella one batter and bring your closer in., Miller looked a bit inexperienced out there. Not his fault. This entire pitching staff lacks focus.
 
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lloyde dobler

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It’s a shame that the only reason the coach has the job is because of his last name. How can anyone argue otherwise? Plus, his two brothers are better coaches.
 
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STLPirate12

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I just can’t understand that last inning. Ok give Cinella one batter and bring your closer in., Miller looked a bit inexperienced out there. Not his fault. This entire pitching staff lacks focus.
Yeah, I just don't get it. I mean clearly it's not as easy at it sounds because we've seen big leaguers have these same sort of meltdowns, but until the the tying run comes to plate there you've gotta just pump it over the plate when behind in the count. If he hits it to the moon, who cares? The last thing you can do is walk someone in that spot and we walked the first 3.
 

Halldan1

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Box Score

MASON, Ohio – Despite standout performances by graduate student Matt Toke (Three Bridges, N.J.) who went 3-for-4 with two RBI and was a home run short of the cycle and junior Justin Scotto (Tinton Falls, N.J.) who went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, the Seton Hall baseball team fell in the opening round of the 2021 BIG EAST Championship Presented by Jeep to Creighton, 8-7, on Thursday afternoon at Prasco Park.

Junior Joe Cinnella (Mahwah, N.J.) threw four innings of relief, three of which were scoreless frames, and senior Ryan McLinskey (Pearl River, N.Y.) gave up one earned run and struck out four batters in four innings. Junior Alex Clyde (Old Tappan, N.J.) went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a sacrifice bunt and senior Jerry Huntzinger (Staten Island, N.Y.) also registered three base hits at the top of the lineup.

Seton Hall (23-24) will now face the loser of Connecticut and Xavier tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in an elimination game.

In the top of the first, sophomore Jonathan Luders (Lynnfield, Mass.) stood on second base after reaching on an error and moving to second on a balk with two outs. The next batter was Toke who stepped to the plate and punched a 1-0 pitch to the gap in left center field that went all the way to the wall. The ball kicked out into center field and Luders came around from second to score. Toke ended up on third base, giving him his third career triple and the first since his freshman year in 2017.

McLinskey ended the bottom of the inning with his first strikeout of the day. In the top of the second, Scotto dropped a one-out base hit into right field for the first runner of the inning and redshirt freshman Will Gale (Scotch Plains, N.J.) followed with a base hit of his own. That set the stage for Huntzinger who laced a two-out single back into center field. Scotto scored from second and it extended the Seton Hall lead to 2-0.

Following a clean bottom of the third, McLinskey found some trouble in the bottom of the fourth where he had the bases loaded with two outs and a 3-0 count on the hitter. After tossing his first strike of the at-bat, Huntzinger made a snap throw to first base that picked the runner off for the final out of the inning.

Creighton struck in the bottom of the fifth with four runs to take a 4-2 lead. Cinnella came on in relief of McLinskey in that frame and he minimized the damage before tossing a near perfect sixth were he allowed a leadoff hit but retired the next three in order.

That's when The Hall started to chip away at the lead. Huntzinger led off the top of the seventh with a base hit and he moved to second on a balk. With two outs, Toke dropped a bloop single into center field for his second hit of the game that cut the deficit to one, 4-3.

After another scoreless frame from Cinnella in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Pirates were in business again in the top of the eighth. Scotto led off the frame with his third base hit of the day and he advanced to second after Clyde executed a sacrifice bunt. Huntzinger was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second with two outs. That brought Luders to the dish who chopped a single through the left side, scoring Scotto from second and tying the game up at 4-4.

The Pirates added to their lead in the top of the ninth. Toke kick started the inning with a double before being lifted for sophomore Devin Hack (Somerville, N.J.) as a pinch runner. That brought graduate student Connor Hood (Shrewsbury, Pa.) to the plate and he delivered the go ahead run as Hack scored on a single through the left side. Seton Hall went station-to-station after that as an RBI single by Scotto pushed Hood across and Clyde plated Scotto with an RBI single down the left field line, making it 7-4 Seton Hall.

It wouldn't be enough though as Creighton took advantage of some costly walks to score four runs in the ninth inning and win it, 8-7.
 

NYC Pirate

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Down 2-1 in the top of 7th with Xavier batting. Game delayed all day and started at 10:05pm.