DINWIDDIE, Va. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) baseball team (0-3) dropped a pair of games in a doubleheader to the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans (3-0) at the Dinwiddie Challenge in Virginia on Saturday. The Rams lost the first game, 8-3, before the second in a close battle, 3-2.
The Spartans came into the game ranked No. 7 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association. STAC returned a majority of their 44-17 team from a season ago as they won the East Coast Conference regular season championship, the NCAA East Regional Championship and their first two games at the NCAA DII Baseball Championship before taking third place among the finalists.
STAC scored a run in the first and five runs in the second to help lift them over Jefferson in the 8-3 final. The Rams got three hits in the game, all singles, off the bats of senior Nick Goetz, junior Matt McGee and freshman Chase Fike. Goetz, McGee and junior Andres Valbuena scored the squad's three runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Pat Hohlfeld (L, 0-1) started the game for the Rams and went 3.0 innings with two strikeouts and one walk while allowing eight hits and six runs. Senior Jonathan Gottschall threw 4.0 innings in relief with two strikeouts and one walk while allowing four hits and two runs.
Jefferson lost the second game in close fashion, 3-2. The Spartans took a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first before the Rams went on top with a two-run third, 2-1. STAC tied it up in the bottom half of the inning before walking off in the eighth.
Fike had a multi-hit game in the second leg of the doubleheader with a single and double. Senior Brandon Quaranta hit his second home run in as many days. Redshirt freshman Chris Smith also had one of the team's four hits in the loss.
Freshman Daniel Sabath tossed 4.0 innings in the start with four strikeouts and two earned runs. Sophomore C.J. Kilgariff and Quaranta combined for three scoreless innings. Junior Brett Chupka (L, 0-1) and junior Andrew Dark pitched the eighth inning in the loss.
Jefferson Baseball closes out its Virginia trip on Sunday with a single game against Saint Rose from Shepherd Stadium at 1:30 p.m.