Saint Peter's Baseball Escapes Seton Hall With 9-8 Victory

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Saint Peter's scored five times in the seventh and freshman A.J. Celentano (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) pitched out of a bases loaded one-out jam in the ninth to help the Peacocks edge Seton Hall 9-8 in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday.

The Peacocks (4-12) scored seven-straight runs including a five-run seventh to erase a 4-2 deficit to grab a 9-5 lead. The Pirates (12-4) cut into the deficit with three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to trim the margin to one run. In the ninth, Sal Annunziata singled to left and Tyler Boyd reached on a bunt single. After Dillon Hamlin moved the runners over on a sacrifice bunt, John Beaubien was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Celentano struck out Chris Selden and then recorded the final out when Mike Caputo grounded into a fielder's choice to shortstop to preserve the victory. Celentano picked up his first collegiate decision with a save.

Chris Hugg (Ironia, N.J./Randolph) paced the Peacocks with a 3-for-5 performance with three RBIs and a run scored. Nick Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) also knocked in three runs while adding a hit and two runs scored. Jim Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) posted a 4-for-5 game with two runs scored and an RBI and Rob Moore (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood) had two hits and three runs scored.

Chris Chiaradio paced Seton Hall with a 3-for-3 game with two runs scored. Beaubien added a hit and two RBIs and D.J. Ruhlman also recorded two RBIs in the loss.

Saint Peter's rallied from a deficit to take the lead and then held off a late Seton Hall charge to end a four-game losing streak against its neighboring town rival for its first win against the Big East program since 2012.

After the Peacocks scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game at 4, Saint Peter's sent nine batters to the plate and exploded for five runs to grab a 9-4 advantage.

Ariel Ramirez (San Domingo, Dominican Republic/Babeque) started the inning with a double to left center and Moore walked before Smith plated Ramirez with run-scoring single through the right side. Hugg brought home Moore and Smith on a two-run double down the left field line and Henriquez scored Hugg on an RBI single to center. After Vinny Maietta (Franklin Square, N.Y./St. Mary's) singled up the middle to move Henriquez into scoring position, Michael Wulff (Madison, N.J./Madison) capped the five-run rally with an RBI groundout.

After a rain delay, the Pirates came back with three runs in the seventh to trim the margin to 9-7 after a bases loaded walk by Ruhlman, an RBI groundout by Kyle Grimm and a Boyd bases loaded walk.

Seton Hall then added a run in the eighth on a Zach Weigel sacrifice fly to left to make it a one-run game. The Pirates then missed a golden opportunity to tie the game or walk off with the victory after loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Celentano got out of the jam.

Saint Peter's got on the scoreboard with a run in the first to grab a 1-0 lead. Moore, Smith and Hugg hit three-straight singles to load the bases with one out before Henriquez plated Moore with a sacrifice fly to right.

Seton Hall answered with three runs in the fourth to grab a 3-1 edge thanks to a Beaubein two-run single to center while the third run of the inning touched home on an error.

The Pirates added a run in the fourth to take a three-run lead after a Ruhlman sacrifice fly for a 4-1 margin.

The Peacocks then tied the game with three runs in the sixth. Moore was the catalyst again for the Saint Peter's rally in the sixth after he reached on a wild pitch to open the inning. After Smith then put runners on second and third with a double to left, Hugg brought home Moore with an RBI single through the left field. Henriquez plated Smith on an RBI fielder's choice before Wulff knotted the game at 4 with a run-scoring double to right field.

The Peacocks then exploded for five runs in the seventh and got out of a bases loaded one-out jam in the ninth to earn its second-straight win.

Paul Schifilliti (Toms River, N.J./Toms River East) earned his first career win after pitching two innings of relief in the contest. 

Saint Peter's returns to action on Friday when the squad starts Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader at Canisius. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.