Fairfield’s men’s baseball team suffered a tough loss against the University of Hartford in their home opener at Alumni Diamond on March 22. Fairfield (4-12) held their ground throughout the majority of the game, but the Hawks (10-5) came out on top 6-3.
“When you’re down runs you’ve got start taking pitches, getting guys on base working counts and that’s what we tried to do,” said Mac Crispino ‘17. “Obviously our pitchers kept us in the game, we had a chance to come back later in the inning, but just couldn’t come through.”
Right off the bat, Hartford started off the inning with a homerun to left field, showing the dominance they would hold throughout the game. The Stags remained scoreless until after the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Hawks up 2-0, Crispino was finally able to put one up on the boards for Fairfield after a double by Jack Gething ‘19.
With the gap tightened and the Stags now trailing 2-1, Hartford took full advantage. After the first two outs of the innings, Ryan O’Connor ‘17 walked two consecutive batters, which forced head coach Bill Currier to make a pitching change.
“He got out of some stuff too. He made some good pitches, but he seemed to be pitching 2-0 in the count too much and was getting behind. When you do that too much, they’re going to get a few runs and that’s what they did,” said Currier of O’Connor.
With the bases now loaded and two outs, Brendan Harkin ‘19 stepped up to the mound to face Hartford’s shortstop Ben Bengtson ‘18, who battled off several of Harkin’s pitches to force a full count. On the following pitch, the ball was just over the strike zone, which forced in a run for the Hawks, now putting them up 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Fairfield’s Troy Scocca ‘17 hit a single to center field which sent Tim Zeng ‘19 home after starting the inning with a leadoff single. With the score now 3-2, and Hartford up by 1, Fairfield had another opportunity to get ahead with the bases loaded and two outs. However, Hartford executed forcing the home team to leave the base pads full of Stags. “We just didn’t do what we were capable of doing and we’re having trouble with that so far this year,” said Currier, “getting a big hit with a couple guys on base and breaking some stuff open getting some runs scored.”
Hartford failed to get any hits or runs in the sixth; however, Fairfield had a powerful sixth, with three hits and one run. For the first and final time in the game, the teams were tied, but it was short-lived after Hartford hit another homerun in the top of the seventh inning. Up 4-3, Fairfield failed to fire back and from this point, it only went downhill for the Stags.
At the top of the eighth, Hartford had their best inning yet. With three hits, the Hawks managed to send home two runs, now ahead by 6-3. The start of the ninth inning saw a leadoff double coming off the bat of Kevin Radziewicz ‘18. After a strikeout to Brendan Tracy ‘16, Hartford would walk the next two batters for the Stags. Fairfield had one final opportunity to win the game or at least tie the game with the bases loaded once again but Hartford would close out the game with two quick outs to pick up the 6-3 road win. Fairfield will be back in action on March 25 when they host Albany.