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Jaspers Shine on Senior Day; Manhattan Tops Saint Peterís

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 05/10/2008
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Senior Erik Lucas blasts first home run of career on Senior Day
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RIVERDALE, N.Y. Ė Senior infielder Erik Lucas blasted the first home run of his collegiate career on Senior Day guiding the Manhattan College baseball team to an 8-4 win over Saint Peter’s (18-27, 6-13) this afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park. Sophomore outfielder Kevin Nieto’s record setting RBI triple in the seventh inning drove in the Jaspers’ go ahead run, and moved him into a tie for first on the program’s career triples list. Mark Onorati, Chad Salem and Ryan Masters each sent solo homers over the fence helping Manhattan (26-18-1, 14-5) to its eight straight home win.


Lucas broke a scoreless game, and got the Jaspers’ offense rolling in the bottom of the third when he connected on a solo home run in his first at bat. Lucas turned on a pitch from Peacocks’ starter Eric Miksitz and sent it over the left field wall, into the Manhattan bullpen.


In the fifth, Onorati placed a solo shot in the same location, before Salem joined in on the home run derby with a blast deep over the center field fence. Salem’s homer marked his eighth of the year, a team-high, and gave Manhattan a 3-0 advantage.


Saint Peter’s responded in the top half of the sixth when it rallied for their only four runs of the contest, while chasing Jaspers’ starting pitcher Tom Costigan out of the game. The Peacocks worked four runs out of Costigan on four hits, before reliever Tom Moran closed the floodgate. Saint Peter’s escaped the inning with a 4-3 lead.


Costigan got off to a strong start striking out the side in the first inning. In total, he twirled five and two thirds innings, allowed eight hits and struck out four.


In the bottom of the sixth, Masters cranked the game tying home run, and first of his career which sailed just inside the left field foul pole. Masters then delivered a dazzling defensive play in the top of the seventh when he made a great sliding grab and fade away throw across the diamond to put out Peacocks’ designated hitter Mike McGuire. Lucas completed the play with an excellent scoop at first base.


Manhattan regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh when the bats erupted for four runs to give Moran a cushion to work with. Kevin Nieto knocked in Onorati with his fifth triple of the season. He later scored on Salem’s sacrifice fly.


Jaspers’ second baseman Ruben Perez capped off the scoring surge with a bases clearing two RBI double to left field.  Perez was 2-for-4 from the plate on the afternoon.


Moran held on to the 8-4 lead, and executed the final six outs of the game for his third win of the season. He allowed just one hit over three and one third innings of work.


Senior outfielder Eric Nieto also shined on Senior Day as he managed two hits which earned himself sole possession of fourth place on the program’s career hit list.


Prior to the contest, the Jaspers honored their four seniors which represent the winningest class in program history. To date, Eric Nieto, Matt Nevins, Nunzio Franzese and Lucas have helped Manhattan to 122 wins over the last four seasons.


Manhattan returns to action tomorrow afternoon to wrap up the three game series with Saint Peter’s. Game one of the doubleheader is slated for noon at Van Cortlandt Park.

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