The St. Thomas Aquinas College baseball team had its winning streak snapped at eight games with a non-conference 6-2 loss to Dominican College at Palisades Credit Union Park. The Spartans, ranked #3 in the East Region in this week's National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll fell to 21-8 on the season, with Dominican improving to 8-18.
Coming off a four-game weekend sweep of New York Institute of Technology in East Coast Conference action, STAC jumped out to an early lead on solo runs in the second and third innings, but there were early hints of trouble to come. Nicholas Lucchese doubled to lead off the home first but was stranded at third. One inning later, the Spartans stole a total of six bases but pushed across just one run, with baserunners gunned down both at home and at third. Anthony Shkrelja singled in Joseph Pena to make the score 2-0 in the third, but he, too, was left in scoring position.
Starter Scott Hannon was strong through the first three scoreless innings before yielding an unfortunate unearned run. Joe Rotelli's leadoff routine grounder to third was aired out by Shkrelja, who was injured while making the throw and was forced to leave the contest. That run came in to make the tally 2-1, and the Chargers pushed across three runs on as many hits in a three-run fifth off reliever Chris Pennell to make the score 4-2.
Dominican tacked on insurance markers in the seventh and ninth innings, while the Spartans continued to threaten but not score. The hosts loaded the bases with nobody out in the fifth but came up empty, and posted runners at second and third with one out in the following frame with the same result. In all, STAC stranded 15 baserunners as Charger reliever Will Dawson picked up the relief win, with Pennell dropping to 3-1 with the loss. Elijas Tavares came on in the ninth to leave two runners on base, earning his first save.
The Spartans return to ECC action this weekend with a four-game series against the University of Bridgeport. Single games on Friday and Sunday will be played at Harbor Yards, with St. Thomas Aquinas hosting a double-header on Saturday at Palisades Credit Union Park, with first pitch slated for 10:00 am.