SCSU baseball team defeats Adelphi University, 8-6
Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer
Southern’s baseball team was able to hold off a late rally and defeat Adelphi University by a score of 8-6, last Tuesday on April 19.
The Owls never trailed during the game in big part to Jason Harper’s performance on the mound. Harper threw for seven innings and allowed two runs during that span. While additionally holding Adelphi to only seven base runners, in one of his best outings of the season.
Jake Lieberman, senior and everyday catcher for the Owls, thought that Harper was locked in from the start.
“Harper threw great today,” said Lieberman. “He was changing up speeds, hitting his spots and keeping the other team off balance. That’s what it’s all about, keeping the other team off balance and making them chase balls.”
Harper’s stellar start allowed the Owls to build up a lead over the course of the game. Southern did most of their scoring in the fifth inning, where they tallied up five runs, and extended their lead to 7-2.
Adelphi made a lot of mental mistakes in the fifth inning that included missing cut off men and throwing the ball away.
Head coach for Southern’s baseball team, Tim Shea, knew his team had to capitalize off of the Panthers’ errors.
“We took advantage of their mistakes and turned that inning into a nice crooked number on the scoreboard,” Shea said. “That gave us some breathing room and really deflated them a bit. That was a very positive inning for us.”
Shea was pleased with both the offense of his players and his pitchers. Harper threw well, but Shea knew Harper wasn’t going to last the entire game, as his pitch count crept past 100 in the seventh inning.
“Jason [Harper] pitched great and we really needed it from him. After seven innings he had thrown 107 pitches and he wanted to stay in, but I felt it was best to get him out,” said Shea.
Once Harper left the game, Adelphi’s bats woke up. Senior Jordan Picini was brought into the game to replace Harper. Yet, Pinci was not in for long, as he gave up four earned runs and was taken out with only one out in the eighth inning.
Picini actually struck out the first batter of the eighth inning on three straight pitches, but then walked the next batter on four straight fastballs.
Coach Shea knew he had to make a change.
Lefty Shawn Urbano replaced Picini and was able to make it out of Adelphi’s four-run eighth inning, but not without controversy. The Adelphi players and manager were consistently heckling the home plate umpire over balls and strikes from the fifth inning on.
At one point, one of the Adelphi’s players tossed a bat on the field after the umpire punched out the third out for the Panthers in the eighth inning. Southern’s bench on the other hand, was not giving the home plate umpire any trouble during the game.
Coupled with Harper’s performance on the mound, Shea was also proud of the way Urbano worked through the eighth inning while Adelphi’s bench kept taunting the umpire.
“There’s always some questionable calls in every game, and sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t,” Shea said. “I’m just glad Urbano was able to stay focused. That’s a tough situation for a freshman, but he was able to get the job done.”
Shea sent Urbano back out for the ninth inning, which allowed him to earn his first save of the season and secure Southern’s 10th victory of the season.
The Owls are back in action on April 27 where they host cross-town rivals University of New Haven at The Ballpark at SCSU.
Photo Credit: SCSU Athletic Communications