The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team ran its winning streak to eight games with a pair of non-conference victories, 11-3 and 13-0, at Palisades Credit Union Park. The Spartans have won 11 of their last 12 overall, and their 20-10 record marks the program's 10th straight season with 20 or more victories. With the losses, St. Anselm dropped to 8-16 overall.
Alex Mack turned in a strong start in the opener with five scoreless innings, allowing his teammates to build a 7-0 lead. The Spartans scored a pair of unearned tallies in the 3rd, and added three more the following inning when Anthony Shkrelja doubled in a run and brother Mark singled in two more to build a five-run lead.
Joey Pena doubled in a pair in the 5th, and though the Hawks trimmed the deficit to 7-3, but Mark Shkrelja's three run blast in the home 7th put aside any hope of a comeback for the visitors. Mack earned the victory for his first decision of the season, while Pena went 4-for-4 with a walk, scoring three runs in the contest.
STAC wasted little time in the second game, with Mark Shkrelja's two-run blast, his second homer of the day, put the hosts on top in the bottom of the 1st. Giovanni Dingcong led off the 2nd with a homer into the right field corner, and Nick Lucchese's RBI single made the advantage 4-0.
Pena was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Lucchese followed with a two-run single, and the Spartans were again staked to a 7-0 advantage. That was more than enough for starter Chris Cepeda, who scattered four hits over five shutout innings of work. Joe Boland drove in two runs with a single and Brian Donnelly crushed a three-run blast to deep left as STAC put up six in the 6th to close out the scoring.
Chris Pennell and Greg Morano each tossed a scoreless frame in relief as Cepeda took the win to improve to 4-2 on the season. Lucchese drove in three runs with a pair of hits to lead the Spartans' 12-hit attack.
The Spartans return to action with a pair of home non-conference games this week, hosting Felician University for a big East Regional showdown on Tuesday at 3:30 pm, with West Chester (PA) paying a call for a 6:00 pm start on Wednesday, with both games at Palisades Credit Union Park.