As the semester starts to wind down and the weather gets increasingly warmer, our spring sports teams can be seen practicing all around campus. Over on the north side, the Fairfield University baseball team has begun their season in full swing.
On Tuesday, March 28, the Stags kicked off the week on their home turf against the St. John’s University Red Storm. Fairfield fought in the bottom of the ninth, putting up one to force extras. With a walk and a steal to second from sophomore Nick Sturino ‘25 and loaded bases from graduate student Mike Handal and Mike Becchetti ‘23, the Stags were able to tie the game as senior Charlie Pagliarini ‘23 walked to send Sturino home.
Neither team scored in the tenth, while the Red Storm regained a one-run lead at the top of the eleventh, with Fairfield failing to score as the Red Storm took the win. Anthony Brienza of St. John’s University was struck out by sophomore Grant Smeltzer ‘25, but was able to advance to second base due to a throwing error. Brienza managed his way to third and after a passed ball the runner was able to score for a Red Storm win during the 11th inning. The final score was 5-4.
The three-game series with Mount St. Mary’s University made history, with the opposing team being new to the MAAC conference and facing Fairfield for the first time ever.
On Friday March 31, the Stags certainly met their match in Emmitsburg, Md. The Mountaineers’ Aiden Tierney hit a bunt single which let the runners on second and third run home, Tierney himself running home in the next play. Fairfield was up 3-0 in the first inning alone.
The Stags did not back down. Matt Bergevin ‘24 hit his fourth home run this season to left field in the top of the sixth, and Pagliarni smashed his eighth homer this season to center field in the eighth. Graduate student and pitcher Jake Noviello kept the Mountaineers at bay after five straight innings, letting the Stags catch up.
With two home runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Mountaineers were able to defeat the Stags 6-2.
Despite a shaky start, the Fairfield Stags were able to end their week and their three-game series with Mount St. Mary’s on a high note.
In a 16-16 tied game on Saturday April 1, Handal hit a two-out homer to right center in the top of the ninth inning to give the Stags a 17-16 lead. Three other home runs were hit in the game from Pagliarini and Sturino. Pagliarini started off the high scoring game with a solo shot in the first, widening his lead for most home runs on the team with nine. Sturino finished the game going four for five with seven runs batted in which was a single-game Stag record. The game saw a lot of ups and downs with Fairfield holding two separate large leads being up 12-2 and 16-8.
In their next game on Sunday, April 2, the Stags were on fire and defeated the Mountaineers 13-8. Sturino would record another two RBIs putting him at nine RBIs in his last 10 at bats. The Stags took their lead in the top of the second when they put up eight runs and did not give the lead back. Fairfield had 15 hits compared to Mount St. Mary’s 12 giving them the edge and helping them secure the win and the series.
After Easter break, the Fairfield Stags will play Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, April 11 at the Alumni Baseball Diamond.