PARKVILLE, Mo. - Nicolas Codemo drove in five runs, including his first home run of the season, a three-run shot that was part of a six-run first inning for Park University, but the Pirates made too many defensive mistakes, dropping the series opener to Harris-Stowe State University by making seven errors. The Pirates out-hit the Hornets 16-12 in the game, as Codemo, Shayne Kirkwood and Tim Schaareman had three hits each.
"It looked like we got complacent after scoring all those runs in the first inning, but six runs usually won't win you a college baseball game," said Park coach Cary Lundy. "Just can't get comfortable against a team that puts the ball in play as much as they do. Not a very good day for our defense."
Rafael Torres-Castillo got things going with an infield single in the first that scored Schaareman, and Austin Giannola added two more runs, lacing a bases-loaded double over the head of Harris first baseman Leobardo Saldivar to score both Torres and Kirkwood. Up 3-0, Codemo's bat did the rest of the work in Park's big inning, lifting his first home run of the season, a three-run homer to make it 6-0.
Harris-Stowe's first two runs came in the second, the first on a wild pitch and the second aided by an error, as as Roger Amador's ground ball scored Saldivar to make it 6-2. Another unearned run came home in the third, and the Hornets tied the game in the fourth with three runs.
Another three-run inning followed in the fifth for Harris-Stowe, as pinch-hitter Tyler Schatz gave HSSU the lead with a two-run single, and the Hornets were able to add another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh, answering a three-run bottom of the sixth for Park that included two more RBIs for Codemo.
Harris-Stowe starter Stephen Wells went six innings to get the win and surrendered 13 hits, giving up all nine Park runs, seven earned, while Park starter Derek Watkins picked up no decision, giving up six runs in the first four innings. Tanner Swisher was strung with the Park loss, appearing in the fifth but unable to get an out.
"Bottom line is, when you get a big lead like that, you can't let up," Lundy said. "That's just baseball 101, and we didn't execute today."
The Pirates have two more chances to claim the series, Saturday at noon, with two games at Comfort Field to conclude the series. Live video and live stats will be available on the Pirate Sports Network at www.parkathletics.tv.