Matt Melody records career-high nine strikeouts
April 22, 2008
NEWARK, NJ - Visiting Saint Peter's built an 8-2 lead through six innings and then held off a furious ninth-inning charge by NJIT to escape with an 8-6 win Tuesday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
Saint Peter's senior starter Kevin Kallert (2-2) dominated NJIT for the first four innings before tiring and allowing two runs in his fifth and final inning of work for the Peacocks. His final line in the win was: 5 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks and 8 strikeouts.
Kallert was followed by three relievers. Craig Hughes pitched three scoreless innings. Dave Mericle began the ninth inning and was charged with all four of NJIT's ninth-inning runs in a third of an inning pitched. And Matt McMahon picked up his first save having allowed an RBI double and a walk to load the bases before inducing the game-ending double play.
NJIT starting pitcher PJ Saporito absorbed the loss after pitching the first five innings and allowing 10 hits, five runs (four earned) and a walk, with two strikeouts.
Highlander reliever Matt Melody entered the game to start the sixth inning and allowed three runs (two earned) in that frame, before blanking Saint Peter's over the final three innings. Melody, who pitched four innings total, struck out a career-high nine (he struck out seven on two previous occasions). He walked two and allowed the one hit in the three-run sixth inning.
The hitting stars for Saint Peter's were 2B Dennis Alexander (3-for-4), LF Mike McGuire (3-for-5) and Kallert, who was the designated hitter in addition to being the starting pitcher. Kallert had just one hit, but it was a long two-run home run in the fifth inning that gave his team a 5-0 lead.
NJIT got two hits apiece from SS Miguel Lugo, RF Dom Hayes and 2B Dan Morogiello. In all, the Highlanders, who left 12 men on base, had 11 hits and seven walks, with Morogiello's ninth-inning double standing as their only extra-base hit.
Saint Peter's opened the scoring with two third-inning runs, which scored on a double by McGuire and a ground out by shortstop Conor Mullee, respectively.
The Peacocks added a run in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Alexander and then two more runs in the fifth, as McGuire led off with a single before Kallert hammered the first pitch of his at-bat for a towering home run high into the left field screen.
The Highlanders got two runs back in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a bases loaded walk to DH Matt Schlitter and a sacrifice fly by Hayes. But Saint Peter's answered with the three-run top of the sixth that included just one hit, but was aided by two walks and an error.
The Peacocks' 8-2 lead held up until the bottom of the ninth inning, as NJIT stranded one runner in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
Lugo and CF Craig Binkiewicz each walked to open the bottom of the ninth. After a strikeout, Hayes singled home Lugo and Binkiewicz moved up a base to second. LF Rob Pietrocola followed with another RBI single, which plated Binkiewicz and advanced Hayes to second. 1B Mike Turner singled home NJIT's third run of the inning, chasing Mericle from the mound.
Morogiello then greeted McMahon with a double into the right field corner that scored Pietrocola and advanced Turner to third. C Chris Cardone walked on five pitches to load the bases, before McMahon wiggled out of the jam by getting 3B Matt Marotta to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
NJIT has a quick turnaround, with a game scheduled for 4 pm on Wednesday at Siena in Loudonville, NY, outside of Albany.