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Jaspers Split MAAC Opener at Rider

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 03/21/2008
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Sophomore Kevin Nieto

RIVERDALE, N.Y. The Manhattan College baseball team split its doubleheader with Rider (8-7, 1-1) this afternoon in Lawrenceville, N.J. The Jaspers ran off with a 20-3 victory in game one, but fell 4-1 in the second game of the set. With the split, Manhattan moves to 5-10-1 on the season and 1-1 in MAAC play.


In game one, sophomore right-hander Tom Costigan threw eight solid innings, allowed three runs and notched two strikeouts to earn his second win of the 2008 campaign. Fellow sophomore Kevin Nieto led the Jaspers’ offensive attack exploding for three hits, four RBIs and blasted the first home run his collegiate career.


Manhattan jumped on Broncs’ starter Mike Petrowski early and harbored an 8-2 advantage by the sixth inning.


Kevin Nieto got the Jaspers going in the top of the first with a two-out single. After stealing second, freshman Chad Salem knocked Kevin Nieto in with a single of his own. Salem scored two runs and tallied two RBIs in the contest.


Austin Sheffield, a freshman first baseman, doubled soon thereafter allowing Salem and Dom Lombardi to cross the plate. Sheffield went 3-for-5, while Lombardi was a perfect 3-for-3.


Rider added a couple of runs in the bottom of the second courtesy of Mason Heyne and Matt McCollum to get on the scoreboard.


Lombardi responded in the top of the third with a triple which later resulted in another Jaspers’ run. Manhattan sophomore Anthony Armenio then homered over the right field fence in the top of the fourth to give the Jaspers a 5-2 edge. Armenio went 2-for-3.


The Jaspers added a three spot in the sixth, another run in the eight and erupted for 11 runs in the ninth inning leading to the squad’s largest margin of victory this season.


Freshman shortstop Luis Llerena was 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Eric Nieto also posted two runs and a RBI, while Osmani Sanchez managed two RBIs in the DH spot.


In game two, the Jaspers’ starting lefty Mike Gazzola surrendered four runs over the first three innings as Manhattan eventually fell 4-1. Jimmer Kennedy, a junior right-hander, earned the win for Rider going 6.1 innings and notching four strikeouts.


The Broncs got on the board in the first inning when James Hayes doubled in the lead off spot, then later scored on a balk. In the second inning, freshman John Ralston added a second run in bottom of the second when he connected on a single, and then scored on a fielder’s choice.


Rider posted its final two runs in the fourth when Nick Wojnowski doubled to right center scoring Maurice Williams and Sean Olson.


Manhattan’s sole run came in the top of the seventh when Lombardi worked his way around the bases after singling to left field. He eventually scored on an Armenio sacrifice fly to left field.


The Jaspers wrap up its series with Rider tomorrow afternoon in the final contest of the set. Game time is slated for noon at Sonny Pittaro Field.

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