Jaspers' senior Dom Lombardi went 3-for-5 with two RBIs in sweep of Columbia
Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score
RIVERDALE, N.Y. – Ruben Perez and Dom Lombardi each tallied three hits, and combined for five RBIs to lead the Manhattan College baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Columbia (16-24) this afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park. The Jaspers rushed out to an 8-0 win in game one, and rallied late for a 4-2 victory in the second contest. The pair of wins extends Manhattan’s (20-15-1) consecutive game winning streak to six.
The Jaspers’ defense shined in the early innings of game one, beginning with third baseman Chad Salem’s diving stop to the right side and strong throw across the diamond to record the first out of the game. Then with the bases loaded in the top of the second, senior outfielder Eric Nieto collected a fly ball in deep right, and then gunned down Columbia’s Ron Williams at the plate to preserve a scoreless ballgame.
Freshman reliever Mike Tibbetts recorded all three outs in the top of the second, after being handed the ball with the bases loaded. Tibbetts allowed just four hits, while striking out five in his second win of the season.
The floodgates opened for Manhattan in the bottom of the third when the Jaspers broke a scoreless contest with five runs on five hits and two errors.
Sophomore outfielder Kevin Nieto connected on his third triple of the season and seventh of his career to extend the Jaspers’ advantage to 6-0 in the fourth. The hit moved him into a three way tie for second on the program’s career triples list, along with his brother Eric Nieto and Matt Cucurullo ’04.
In the fifth, Perez added to Manhattan’s lead driving his third home run of the season over the left field wall. He went 3-for-6 from the plate over the doubleheader.
Jaspers’ starter Zac Goyer, Tom Moran, Tom Costigan and Tibbetts combined for the shutout by committee effort. The staff allowed just six hits and three walks.
In game two, Manhattan’s Mark Onorati sent out a solo homer to cut into Columbia’s early two run advantage. It marked Onorati’s team-high fifth home run of the season.
Freshman catcher Jose Behar sparked a fourth inning Jaspers’ rally with a RBI single to right field which evened the contest at 2-2. Eric Nieto followed hitting a rocket down the left field line driving in the go ahead run.
Perez knocked in the Jaspers’ final run of the contest with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to extend Manhattan’s lead to 4-2.
Jaspers’ freshman starter Kyle Waddell nabbed the win after throwing four efficient innings. Brian Pendergast was credited with the save as he retired the final three batters of the ballgame.
Manhattan returns to league action this weekend, and travels to Canisius to battle for sole possession of first place in the MAAC. The three game set begins Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. in Buffalo. Both squads harbor a 9-3 league mark.