Great pitching performances set tone of series
Jon Prosinski had every reason to smile after the game on Friday night, even if the Seton Hall pitcher looked a little worse for wear.
His arm was iced from 115 pitches, but that wasn’t what stuck out. The right side of his chin was swollen to about twice its normal size and the upper right corner of his lip was still dotted with blood from an open cut.
“It’s definitely not something you expect,” Prosinski said after the game. “I can’t say I’ve been hit very often with a ball.”
“He’s a competitive young man,” said Seton Hall head coach Rob Sheppard. “Senior, Friday night starter.”‘
Despite spitting up a little blood after a few mouth washings adjacent to the pitching mound, Prosinski stayed in the game and didn’t really think anything of the wound, insisting he felt fine after his warm-up tosses were done. Having come into the game with an iffy 7-12 road record, the Pirates fed on Prosinski’s guile.
“It was great,” Sheppard said. “That’s what you want from your leader, that’s what you want from your Friday night starter. I know it’s cliche, but he’s done that and more for us throughout his career.”
Prosinski didn’t just keep playing, he was on top of his game.
Through eight innings, Prosinski allowed only one earned run, walked none and struck out nine while keeping his season ERA at 2.59. The Pirates, who played faster than any other team UH has faced this season, were six errors, breaking UH’s season high of three.
While he was the only pitcher with a swollen jaw, he wasn’t the only one with a shining night in the series.
With Austin Pruitt’s second complete-game shutout of the season on Saturday, it was a joy for people who like great pitching at Cougar Field this weekend.
For the righthanded senior, it was his seventh win of the season. Along with denying runs, he kept the base paths mostly clean as he allowed six hits and walked none. His 12 strikeouts tied a season high and helped drop his ERA to 1.99 in 68.0 innings.
“We played hard and we played to win,” said head coach Todd Whitting of Saturday’s triumph. “Pruitt was outstanding tonight, throwing a complete game shutout. This team really needed him to come out and throw a doughnut here to let us get going on offense.”
For Pruitt, already a pitcher of the week once this season, it was the type of impressive performance that crowds at Cougar Field have somewhat grown used to.
“I really wanted to give us a good chance to win this game,” Pruitt said after the game. “Everything felt like it was working for me today. I was really in a zone, and it was fun being on the mound tonight.”
Seton Hall took the series by winning the third game 15-1 with yet another stellar pitching performance, this time by Pirate lefthander Greg Terhune, also a senior.
“Our guys have done a really good job all year long,” Sheppard said.