Baseball Takes Three Out of Four Against NJIT

Image+Courtesy+of+Hartford+Hawks.com

Image Courtesy of Hartford Hawks.com

T.J. Hummel, Sports Editor

The University of Hartford Baseball team hosted visiting NJIT over this past weekend here on Fiondella Field. The Hawks were looking to keep up their winning ways as they are coming off of a weekend sweep against the Binghampton Bearcats. Both teams took the field Friday for their first set of two on the weekend.

In game one, Hartford was able to strike first in the bottom of the second after a bases-loaded balk brought home Bryce Ramsay and Tim Dickson. A few pitches later, Dickson ripped an RBI groundout, scoring Daniel Burnett. The Hawks added another run with a two-out infield single from John Thrasher to score Robert Carmody.

Hartford was able to add another run in the third inning courtesy of a Derek Tenney solo shot to left field. NJIT put up a run of their own in the fourth, but the Hawks tacked on another run with the help of Zachary Ardito’s RBI double to push the lead to 5-1. The team powered three more runs to the plate in the sixth with a two-run shot by Drew DeMartino and a second solo shot on the day by Derek Tenney. NJIT would try to claw back but the Hawks held on to win by a score of 8-4 to take game one.

Game two was underway and NJIT struck early with a three-run shot in the first inning to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Hawks would be held scoreless through the first three innings, but it did not take long for the team to pick up the offense. Zachary Ardito got the Hawks on the board with a solo home-run to left field. Tremayne Cobb Jr followed just two batters later with a home-run of his own to trim the gap to 3-2.

Down 3-2 in the seventh, Nik Pagan drilled a two-out triple to the center-field fence followed by a line-drive RBI single to center by Freshman Devon Edwards to tie the game up a three apiece. NJIT was able to respond in the eighth by scoring a pair of runs to take the lead at 5-3. Derek Tenney launched a solo home run to pull within a run however, the Hawks would not score the remainder of the inning as NJIT held on to a 5-4 win, splitting the Friday set.

Both teams had some time to recover before the two faced off again on Saturday for another double header at Fiondella Field. The Hawks were poised to keep the offensive firepower going on all cylinders.

Game one was underway and it didn’t take long for the Hawks to find the scoreboard. Devin Kellogg blasted a solo homer off the left field foul pole to put Hartford up 1-0. The Hawks padded their lead in the second when an NJIT error in the field allowed Drew DeMartino to score to push the Hartford lead to 2-0.

Hartford doubled their lead in the bottom of the fifth with the help of a two-run blast by Kyle Hawes to right to pull the lead out to 4-0. Hartford tacked on an extra insurance run and held onto the 5-0 shutout victory.

NJIT struck first in game two, making Hartford have to play from behind early. It did not take long for Hartford to tie the game as Derek Tenney roped an RBI to left to tie the game up at one apiece. The Hawks added three runs in the fifth to jump out to a 4-1 lead. The rally started with John Thrasher’s RBI triple to the center field fence which plated Aiden Duda from first. NJIT would try and mount a comeback, but the combo of high power offense and lights out pitching got the job done as Hartford held on to win by a score of 8-4.

To put the icing on the cake of a phenomenal weekend, Hartford pitcher Nathan Florence took home the America East Co-Pitcher of the Week honor for the second time in as many weeks. Florence pitched a complete game shutout on Friday against NJIT, tossing seven scoreless innings, giving up a mere four hits, and fanning nine to cap off his outing.

Hartford is set to take the field again this Friday, April 2nd, when they travel to Stony Brook to take on the Sea Wolves at Joe Nathan Field. First pitch is set for noon on Friday.