Jaspers Notch Ninth Straight Victory
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Seven different players had at least one hit and eight scored at least one run, as the Manhattan College baseball team (13-17) posted an 11-5 victory over Sacred Heart (10-20) at Van Cortlandt Park on Tuesday. It was the Jaspers' ninth straight win.
Leading the way for Manhattan was Brendan Slattery (Danbury, Conn.), who went 4-for-4 with two RBIs in his season debut. Yoandry Galan (Miami, Fla.) was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Anthony Vega (Patchogue, N.Y.) had three RBIs and Chris Kalousdian (Kings Park, N.Y.) drove in a pair of runs. Joe McClennan (Highland Mills, N.Y.) scored three runs to go along with a pair of hits, and Vin Teixeira (Hamden, Conn.) crossed the plate twice. As a team, the Jaspers pounded out 12 hits in the contest.
Manhattan began the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the third. Slattery got the inning started with a double down the left field line. Galan then dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first was wide, putting runners on first and third with nobody out. Vega followed with a triple to left center that gave the Jaspers a 2-0 lead. Nick Camastro (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) was up next, and he executed a perfect squeeze bunt, allowing Vega to score. The Jaspers added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Slattery.
Joe Mortillaro (Queens, N.Y.), who was making just his second career start on the mound, tossed four shutout innings before running into trouble in the fifth. After Zach Gandee struck out, the Pioneers loaded the bases on a hit batsman, a walk and a single. Mortillaro then struck out Dave Boisture, but Dan Perez followed with a double to center field that cut Manhattan's lead to 4-3. However, it would remain 4-3, as reliever Nick Girardi (Syosset, N.Y.) struck out Conor McEvoy to end the inning.
The Pioneers tied it with a run in the top of the sixth, but Manhattan responded with a two-spot (without the benefit of a hit) in the bottom half of the inning. After Teixeira and McClennan were hit by pitches, the runners moved to second and third on Aidan O'Leary's (Portsmouth, N.H.) sacrifice bunt. Slattery then drew a walk to load the bases before Galan was hit by a pitch, forcing in a run. The Jaspers added another run when Vega lifted a sacrifice fly to left field.
After Sacred Heart got one run back on McEvoy's RBI double in the top of the seventh, the Jaspers tacked on three more in their half of the inning. Teixiera started the rally with a one-out double, then McClennan drew a walk. Kalousdian followed with a pinch-hit two-run single to right that made it 8-5. He later scored on Galan's RBI single. In the bottom of the eighth, Manhattan put two more runs on the board. McClennan ripped an RBI single, and Slattery capped his perfect afternoon with an RBI double that was just fair down the left field line.
Mortillaro went the first 4.2 innings on the mound. He allowed three runs on five hits, struck out six and walked three. Girardi (2-0) earned the win after giving up an unearned run and two hits in 1.1 innings of relief. He also tallied three strikeouts. Michael Scarinci (Nanuet, N.Y.) pitched the seventh, while Michael Martin (Massapequa, N.Y.) finished up with two scoreless innings.
Chris Dionisio started and lasted three innings for the Pioneers. He surrendered three runs (two earned) on three hits, struck out one and walked one. James Ineson (0-1) took the loss after yielding three runs (two earned) and two hits while striking out one and walking one in 2.2 innings. McEvoy went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while Billy McDonough was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Perez drove in three runs and scored another for the Pioneers.
The Jaspers are back in action on Wednesday, when they host local rival Fordham (14-19) at 3:30 p.m. in the annual "Battle of the Bronx." Fordham Head Coach Kevin Leighton was the Jaspers' mentor for six seasons, leading Manhattan to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including last year.