Hatters Complete Opening Weekend Sweep of Manhattan
After a shaky start on Sunday afternoon due to a pair of first inning errors, the Stetson Hatters settled in and got back to business, taking a 6-2 decision over visiting Manhattan at Melching Field to complete a three-game season-opening sweep of the Jaspers.
For the Stetson baseball program, it was the first season-opening sweep since the 2011 season. The Hatters won five straight games to open that season.
Sophomore starting pitcher Mitchell Senger (1-0) overcame a pair of first inning throwing errors, one of which belonged to him, and allowed just one unearned run in the frame. After getting out of that inning, Senger retired 13 straight Jaspers hitters before a one-out double by Will Trochiano in the sixth inning broke up his no-hit bid.
While Senger was cruising on the mound, the Hatters were dealing with some struggles of their own at the plate. Stetson scored a pair of runs in the first inning off Jaspers starter Steve Arntsen (0-1) and then added another in the second.
Arntsen walked the first three batters of the game to lead the bases. Jacob Koos came in to score when Mike Spooner grounded into a double play. Jonathan Meola followed with an RBI double to make it 2-1 Hatters.
In the second inning, Andrew MacNeil reached on a one-out single and scored from first on a two-out triple by Koos for a 3-1 lead.
Manhattan went to the pen in the third and reliever Marc Galvan shut down the Stetson attack during the middle innings, allowing just one hit over four frames of work.
The Jaspers closed to within 3-2 in the sixth when Fabian Pena picked up a two-out single through the right side to score Trochiano. Senger got out of the frame with no further damage. He finished with a career-high six innings of work, allowing just one earned run on two hits while walking two and striking out a career-high nine.
Senior Ben Onyshko came on in relief for Senger in the seventh inning, striking out the side. He ran into trouble in the eighth inning, but not before the Hatters added an insurance run. Pinch hitter Jack Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk from reliever T.J. Stewart before Koos dropped down a perfect bunt for a hit, moving pinch runner Jake Murphy to second.
Manhattan threatened in the eighth, getting a leadoff walk and a single to open the inning against Onyshko. The inning was snuffed out when Brendan Bisset lined into a double play before Brooks Wilson came on to get the final out of the frame.
Stetson added two more insurance runs in the home half of the inning. Wilson got things started with a one-out double before Jorge Arenas dropped down a bunt for a hit. Bruce Martin followed with a two-run triple to the gap in right center for a 6-2 lead.
Wilson finished things off in the ninth for his second save of the weekend.
Overall, the Stetson pitching staff held Manhattan to just 10 hits in the series and recorded 38 strikeouts in 27 innings of work.
The Hatters will try to keep the opening win streak alive on Tuesday night when they host UCF at Melching Field. The Knights (2-1) opened the season with a win over Virginia before dropping a game to Rice in a tournament they hosted in Orlando. They finished off the weekend with a victory over Samford. UCF will come into Tuesday’s game riding a 12-game win streak against the Hatters.
The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.