The Stags are off to their best start in program history at 3-0, thanks to a season-opening sweep of Delaware State. During these three games, Fairfield scored 39 runs, the most during the first three games of a season in program history.
The team came out swinging in the first game, winning by a score of 17-3. Sophomore outfielder Drew Arciuolo led the team with four RBIs, while Gavin Wallace ‘18 pitched six innings with just one run and earned his first win of the season. He also struck out six batters. Junior outfielder Troy Scocca and outfielder Jake Salpietro ‘16 each hit home runs in this contest, the first two of the season for the Stags.
The second game was the closest of the three contests, but the Stags still won by six runs with a final score of 8-2. Junior Kyle Dube put on a stellar pitching performance, lasting seven innings while allowing just one run. He also struck out five batters while only walking two. Junior shortstop Michael Conti got three hits in five at-bats while scoring a run.
In the third game, the Stags won by another wide margin, 14-1, showing a great balance of hitting and pitching. Scocca hit his second homerun of the season, while Brendan Tracy ‘16 had a bases-clearing triple. Sophomore first baseman Drew Blake also hit a two-run home run late in the eighth inning. This was more than enough to allow pitcher Aaron Howell ‘16 to record his first win of the season. Howell hurled six innings while allowing just one run, and struck out four batters.
Over these first three games, the Stags have showed signs of life, and of good things to come following last year’s disappointing season where the team went 17-32, and just 9-15 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The team lost a number of prized players that graduated last year, including outfielders Alex Witkus and Billy Zolga, infielders Sal Ciccone and Dean Sadik, catcher/first baseman Sebastian Salvo and pitchers EJ Ashworth and Tucker Panciera. Each of these players were valued starters on the team, and Ashworth and Panciera were staples in the pitching rotation.
However, the freshmen and other rising stars on the team have showed promise, especially in these first three blowouts of games. Sophomore catcher Kevin Radziewicz, for example, has gotten five hits in 10 at-bats while starting in all three games, scoring five runs and driving in two more.
Freshman infielder Jack Gethings has recorded three hits over 13 at-bats, scoring six runs and driving in three more. Arciuolo, who already has a homerun on the season, has gone 5 for 15 with four RBIs, four runs and three doubles.
So long as these young players continue to play well with the veteran likes of Salpietro, Scocca, Conti and company, the Stags might be looking at a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship season, much like they were close to experiencing two years ago.
Fairfield will play their next series as part of an Atlantic Coast Conference trip, starting with a three-game weekend series against No.10 North Carolina on Friday, March 4 at 3 p.m.