Marywood Baseball March recap


Photo credit/ Jason Ardan

Junior Chris Thomas draws a walk in the Pacers’ home opener.

March 5: Away vs. Stevenson University (Game One)

The Pacers opened their season squaring off with the Stevenson University Mustangs in a doubleheader. Stevenson came into the matchup with five games played this season and it showed. The Pacers struggled to get any rhythm going, both at bat and in the field. The Pacers only mustered four hits and a singular run, while committing five errors in the field. Stevenson had a much better showing, defeating the Pacers in the first game 11-1.

Sophomore third baseman Max Slusser, who was slotted as the designated hitter, drove in the Pacers’ only run of the game. Sophomore catcher AJ Giannetti tallied a pair of hits, while drawing a walk in the effort. Freshman pitcher Aidan Dolan made a stellar college debut, throwing 1 2/3 innings, striking out three batters without allowing a baserunner.

March 5: Away vs. Stevenson University (Game Two)

In the second game, the Pacers struck in the first inning, thanks to a two-run double from Slusser. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived, with the Mustangs totaling four runs in the bottom half of the frame. Stevenson tallied three more runs in the sixth, and with Marywood unable to rekindle its first inning success, they dropped the second game 7-2.

Apart from Slusser’s double the Pacers only had three other hits. The Pacers’ defense was partly cleaned up in the second game, only committing a pair of errors.

March 8: Away vs. Cairn University

Looking for their first victory of the young season, the Pacers hit the road again, traveling to Cairn University to face off against the Highlanders. The Pacers’ bats finally came alive, tallying at least one run in every inning apart from the fifth. The pitching staff was stellar, combining for nine strikeouts while allowing only a pair of runs.

Marywood broke a team and an individual record with its baserunning. The team stole eight bases, with sophomore shortstop Christian Michak stealing four on his own for a new record. The all-around dominance yielded the Pacers their first victory, 12-2.

Senior left fielder Vinny D’Auria tallied a pair of hits, three runs batted in, a run scored and three stolen bases. Sophomore first baseman Adam Anderson and Giannetti both recorded a pair of RBIs. Freshman pitcher Max Ryan dominated in hisfirst collegiate start, punching out four batters, while allowing just one run over five innings of work.

March 13: Home vs. Gallaudet University (Game One)

To open their spring break trip, the Pacers were set to battle the Gallaudet Bisons. Marywood opened the scoring in the bottom half of the first via a sacrifice fly from Slusser. D’Auria came home later in the frame on a balk. The Bisons answered, tying the game in the top of the second, before Marywood scored four runs in the bottom half of the frame. It was all Pacers the rest of the way, totaling 11 runs and taking the first win of their Florida trip, 17-5.

Michak began the trip on fire, tallying three hits, including a triple, while adding three runs scored, four runs batted in and a stolen base. Junior pitcher Nick Notari gave the Pacers five strong innings, allowing only two runs and striking out two.

March 13: Away vs. Gallaudet University (Game Two)

After a short break, the Pacers and Bisons were back at it for game two of the double header. The Pacers came out swinging in the top of the first, seeing four players cross the plate. After shutting down the Bisons in the bottom half of the first, the Pacers’ offense exploded, this time for six runs in the second.

Marywood’s offense went stagnant for the next few innings, while Galladudet scratched out five runs over their next three turns at bat. However, Marywood scored seven runs across the final three frames, giving the Pacers the double header sweep, 17-11.

D’Auria and junior first baseman James Daly were the leading contributors for the Pacers, combining for seven hits, three extra base hits, three runs scored and eight runs batted in.

March 14: Away vs. Washington College (Game One)

The Pacers were on a quick turnaround, set for another double header, this time against the Washington College Geese. Through the first inning and a half, both teams’ offenses were stagnant. The bottom half of the second inning yielded poor defensive results for the Pacers, as a one-out throwing error allowed a pair of Washington College players to cross the plate.

The Pacers answered right back, matching the Geese in the top half of the third. The lead was short lived, with Washington taking the lead in the fourth and never letting it go. The Pacers dropped their first game in Florida 4-3.

D’Auria and Slusser both contributed a pair of hits on the offensive side, while Ryan had a sensational outing, allowing only one earned run and striking out eight in the loss.

March 14: Home vs. Washington College (Game Two)

Locked and loaded for game two, junior pitcher Joseph Bruno ascended the mound, making quick work of the Geese in the top of the first. Daly’s double in the bottom of the first produced a pair of runs for the Pacers. Washington was able to chip away at the lead, making it a 2-1 game after the top of the second. The Pacers scored a trio of runs in the third, giving them a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, leading to a split of the day, 5-3.

Daly was responsible for driving in three of the Pacers’ runs, while Bruno earned his first win of the season, throwing 4 2/3 innings, allowing only one earned run and striking out five.

March 16: Home vs. Lasell University (Game One)

After a day off, Marywood was back on the horse, set to square off against the Lasell University Lasers. The Lasers drove home a pair of runs over the opening two frames. In the bottom half of the second, the Pacers decided it was time to get on the scoreboard, taking the lead 3-2.

After a silent third inning from both teams, the Lasers retook the lead 5-3. The reign on top was over in a blink of an eye, with the Pacers ripping the lead right back. Despite the Lasers’ attempt to reclaim the lead, Marywood held on to finish its fourth victory in Florida, 9-6.

The heart of the lineup contributed yet again, with D’Auria and Slusser chalking up five hits and five runs batted in during the victory. The bullpen slammed the door, allowing just one run and striking out three over the final 3 1/3 innings.

March 16: Away vs. Lasell University (Game Two)

The Pacers continued their hot spring break trip by crossing the plate four times in the opening inning. The offense fell silent until the sixth inning, but a stifling performance from freshman Danny Tiedemann allowed the Pacers’ lead to never waiver. Tiedemann struck out a pair, while allowing only two runs over four innings of work, before the bullpen locked it down, finishing the sweep of Lasell 6-3.

A trio of Pacers collected two hits, with D’Auria, freshman catcher AJ Kuzior and junior outfielder Chris Thomas getting a pair of knocks.

March 17: Away vs. College of Mount Saint Vincent

On the final day of the spring break trip, the Pacers opened the day with the Dolphins of College of Mount Saint Vincent. Marywood opened the game’s scoring early, with two runs in the opening frame. The Dolphins cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first. From there, it was all Dolphins, scoring 13 runs throughout the remainder of the game, including a three-run third and a five-run seventh. The Pacers mustered a last-inning run in the 14-3 loss.

Slusser was the lone bright spot for Marywood, with a pair of hits and a run batted in.

March 17: Away vs. Kenyon College

Looking to rebuild momentum for their return home, the Pacers looked to knock off the Kenyon College Owls. However, expectations and reality can differ, and they did in this game. The Owls hung a five spot in the second, before adding 10 runs in their final six turns at bat. A two-run double from freshman infielder Adam Ginsberg tightened the score a notch, but not nearly enough to mount a comeback, as the Pacers’ ended their trip with a 15-2 loss.

Ginsberg’s late inning contribution was the lone bright spot for the Pacers.

March 21: Home vs. King’s College (PA.)

After finishing five and three in Florida, the Pacers returned to Scranton for their home opener, hosting the King’s College Monarchs. The Monarchs plated a pair in the opening half inning, before Marywood answered with two runs of their own. Marywood scored another run in the second, before an offensive explosion in the fourth, highlighted by back-to-back doubles from Slusser and Gianetti. The Pacers added a trio in the seventh, putting the nail in the coffin to win their first home game, 10-2.

Michak led the hit parade for the Pacers, collecting three hits, while Slusser contributed three runs batted in. The pitching staff was dominant, with nine strikeouts and only eight hits allowed.

March 22: Away vs. Delaware Valley University

Looking to build momentum off the home opener victory, the Pacers traveled to Delaware Valley University to face the Aggies. The Pacers went three up, three down in the top of the first. The Aggies did quite the opposite, plating four runs in the bottom half of the frame. Both offenses were quiet for the next few innings, before Marywood got on the board with two runs in the top of the fourth. The Aggies answered back, once against seeing four runners cross the plate.

The Pacers added one, followed by another pair from the Aggies. Although the Pacers notched a run in the top of the fifth, the bottom half of the frame went unbelievably wrong for the Pacers, as they allowed 10 runs. Despite three more Marywood runs, there was no comeback in order, as they fell to the Aggies, 20-7.

Slusser and D’Auria had phenomenal performances, with D’Auria tallying a double, a pair of singles, three runs and a stolen base, while Slusser registered three hits, including a home run, and a pair of runs batted in.

March 24: Away vs. Centenary University

The Pacers opened their Atlantic East Conference schedule by traveling to Centenary University to battle the Cyclones. D’Auria opened the offense with an RBI single in the top of the first. That would be the last lead the Pacers held. The Cyclones scored four times in the first, twice in the second and once in both the third and fourth.

The Pacers posted a four-run sixth to bring the game within two runs. The Cyclones then enlarged their lead in the eighth, totaling four runs of their own to take their first matchup against the Pacers, 12-6.

The duo of D’Auria and Slusser played a vital part in the Pacers offense again, combining for four hits and five runs batted in.

March 26: Home vs. Centenary University (Game One)

After inclement weather postponed the double header, the Pacers were focused on going for the sweep against the Cyclones. Slusser opened the offense in the first with an RBI double. The Pacers added three more in the next frame, getting out to a 4-0 lead. Despite the Cyclones getting on the board, the Pacers tallied a pair in the third starting the day on a good note.

Unfortunately, that note turned sour, as the Cyclones hung a four spot in the fourth. The Pacers added one more, but Centenary wasn’t finished, tying the game at seven in the fifth. Both offenses fell stagnant for the final two innings, forcing extras. Centenary then took a one-run lead going into the bottom half of the eighth. Marywood had a chance to win, with runners on second and third with two outs, but couldn’t score, losing 8-7.

Slusser, Kuzior and Bruno all tallied a pair of knocks and runs batted in. Junior pitcher Matthew Klipple played a pivotal role, coming out of the bullpen with 2 2/3 innings of shutdown work.

March 26: Home vs. Centenary University (Game Two)

Trying to avoid a sweep to start conference play, the Pacers looked to salvage the final game of the three-game set. The Pacers offense came out hot, scoring three runs over the first pair of innings. After a quiet third, the Pacers notched six runs in fourth. For good measure, Marywood added a run in both the fifth and sixth inning. Though the Cyclones ended the shutout, the Pacers finished the victory, 11-1.

Michak and Bruno both had monster games, with each one bashing a home run and driving in two runs. Notari threw a gem with a complete game, allowing only one hit and one run, while punching out five.

March 29: Home vs. Elmira College

Looking to build off the blow out victory, the Pacers hosted the Elmira College Soaring Eagles. Elmira scored once in each of the first two frames before scoring eight runs in the third. The Pacers were able to whittle away at the lead in the bottom of the frame, scoring three. After a quiet fourth, both teams added a run in the fifth.

Both offenses had silent sixths, before the Soaring Eagles drove home four runs, putting the game out of reach. Marywood tallied a pair in the bottom of the seventh, followed by another run in the ninth, but the lead was insurmountable, leading the Pacers to a 16-7 loss.

Slusser had a stellar performance, hitting his second home run of the season, as well notching another knock, a pair of runs, three runs batted in, drawing three walks and swiping a bag.

March 30: Home vs. Lycoming College

In an attempt to build momentum before returning to conference play, the Pacers were pitted against the Lycoming College Warriors. The Warriors opened the game scoring first, before the Pacers answered. In the second, the Pacers added a pair to take the lead. Marywood wouldn’t relinquish the lead, tallying another run in the sixth and taking home the victory, 4-1.

Ginsberg went 3-5 on the day, with a double and a pair of runs scored. The pitching staff was stifling, with sophomore Danny Cossa, Dolan, Ryan and junior Michael Aronica striking out 11, allowing just six hits.

March 31: Away vs. Cabrini University

On the final day of March, the Pacers returned to conference play against the Cabrini University Cavaliers. Cabrini crossed the plate twice in the opening two innings. They scored once more in the sixth, before adding a pair in the eighth. The Pacers offense was nonexistent, ending the month with a 5-0 loss.

The pitching duo of Notari and Tiedemann were solid, allowing only two earned runs, while striking out seven.

Marywood ended its opening month 9-10, while finishing 1-3 in conference play. Slusser ended the month leading the Pacers in nearly every offensive category, like batting average (.426), hits (26), doubles (5), home runs (2) and RBIs (24). Michak was nearly perfect swiping bases, going 18-19 in steal attempts. Aronica led the Pacers in strikeouts, while junior pitcher Derrick Ricci-Riner led the Pacers’ in ERA. He has yet to allow a run this season.

Contact the writer: [email protected]