GREENVILLE – A.I. duPont built up an 8-0 lead, then watched as St. Elizabeth fought back in the seventh. The Vikings’ late surge, however, was not enough, and the Tigers captured an 8-5 win in the season opener for both teams in nonconference baseball on March 26.
A.I. put single runs on the board in the first and the second innings against Vikings starter C.J. Small. Chris Thyus drove in a runner from second with a two-out single to right-center in the first. The Tigers manufactured their second run on a single by Dominic Tew, a groundball to advance the runner, and another two-out single, this time to left field, off the bat of Matthew Pierce.
The hosts added three more in the third. A walk, followed by a double, put men on second and third with no outs. Thyus smacked a double on the first pitch he saw to deep left, driving in a pair. Small was lifted, and a pair of sacrifice bunts – the second a suicide squeeze by Tew – brought Thyus home. They tacked on another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Before ending the shutout in the last inning, the Vikings could not get to Orsini. He allowed three hits and struck out six in six innings. Tyler Tillinghast got on base via an error, and after two fly balls, Jaden Dickerson doubled to left-center. They were left stranded as the inning ended on a popup.
The Vikings threatened in the fifth, but A.I. kept them off the board with some defense. Orsini struck out the first two hitters, but Andrew Spychalski reached on a bloop single. Small walked, and Dickerson ripped a single to left field. He threw to the third baseman, whose relay throw beat a sliding Spychalski to the plate.
The Vikings (0-1) finished with four hits. They host St. Mark’s at Canby Park on Thursday at 4 p.m.
A.I. duPont (1-0) rapped 10 hits. They are on the road Thursday at 3:45 p.m. at Brandywine, although it will not be a Blue Hen Conference Flight B game.