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Jaspers Complete Series Sweep of Marist

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 04/17/2011
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Senior third baseman Chad Salem lifts Manhattan to a series sweep of Marist
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Box Score - Game One

Box Score - Game Two

 Senior third baseman Chad Salem delivered a monstrous performance to help lift Manhattan (18-12, 12-0 MAAC) to a doubleheader sweep of Marist (22-12, 4-8 MAAC) on Sunday at Van Cortlandt Park. Salem hit .714 (5-for-7), drove in four runs and scored three runs as the Jaspers swept their fourth straight MAAC series.

Jaspers' sophomore starting pitcher Eric Luksis picked up his third win of the season by earning an 11-8 decision in game one. Then in game two, Manhattan's junior right-hander Mike Giordano pitched his second complete game of the season to win his fifth straight start with a 3-1 victory.

In game one, Manhattan's offense wasted little time to jump on the Red Foxes as the Jaspers rolled out to an 8-0 advantage by the third inning. Manhattan generated a five-run, two-out rally in the first inning, which hinged on a costly fielding error by Marist shortstop Zach Shank. The Jaspers scored their first run on senior right fielder Mike McCann's RBI single.

Manhattan scored their next four runs after Ramon Ortega's routine ground ball was botched by Shank. Austin Sheffield scored for Manhattan on the play, and then in the next at-bat sophomore designated hitter Kyle Murphy made the Red Foxes pay with a three-run homer off the left field scoreboard.

The Jaspers went up seven runs in the second inning, courtesy of RBI singles from Salem and Sheffield. In the third inning, Manhattan scored again with freshman second baseman Yoandry Galan's one-run single.

Marist capitalized in the fourth inning by scoring four runs on six hits. Shank put Marist's first run on the board with a RBI single to left field. Red Foxes' designated hitter Eric Helmrich knocked in the next two runs with a one-out single. Freshman infielder Pat Welsh pulled Marist within 8-4 of Manhattan with an infield ground ball, which allowed Shank to come home from third base.

Manhattan got two of its runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning with McCann's RBI double and Ortega's RBI single. The clutch hits extended the Jaspers' lead to 10-4. McCann and Ortega each went 3-for-4, scored two runs and recorded two RBI in the contest.

Jaspers' senior center fielder Mark Onorati got in the RBI column in the fifth inning with a one-run single to put Manhattan on top 11-4. Onorati and Sheffield both posted two hits.

Luksis turned the ball over to freshman Jared Hirschberg in the sixth inning after striking out three batters and walking just one. Hirschberg retired the side and recorded one strikeout.

Manhattan went to junior right-hander Taylor Sewitt for the final inning of the seven inning affair. Sewitt ran into trouble after recording two outs in the frame. He gave up four runs on six hits, before he struck out Red Foxes' freshman second baseman Nick McQuail to secure the victory.

Red Foxes' starter Dan Zlotnick received credit for the loss after pitching the 1 1/3 innings when the Jaspers scored seven runs.

In game two, Salem went 4-for-4 with two home runs and two doubles to lift Manhattan to its 12th consecutive MAAC victory and improve to a perfect 7-0 at Van Cortlandt Park. Salem launched his first home run of the day in the first inning with Onorati on base to send Manhattan ahead 2-0. It proved to be all the run support Giordano would need as he rolled on the hill, striking out eight and yielding just two walks.

Giordano, a junior from Bedford, N.Y., retired 14 of the first 15 batters faced, and he did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. He has recorded 28 strikeouts in his last four conference games.

Salem went yard for the sixth time this season in the fourth inning when he blasted his second homer of the day deep over the left field fence. The solo home run represented his team-leading 35th RBI of the season. Salem's two doubles increased his season total to 13 and he went back above the .400 batting average plateau.

Giordano had full control of the contest as he worked through a challenging ninth inning. Despite yielding two hits and a walk, Giordano forced the Red Foxes into fly balls to the outfield to record the first two outs. Then a heads-up tag at second base by sophomore shortstop Nick Camastro ended the contest. After Helmrich's RBI single, Camastro caught Red Foxes' first baseman Mike Orefice when he over ran second base.

The Jaspers served Marist starting pitcher Sean McKeown his first loss of the season as he fell to 4-1. McKeown lasted 5 1/3 innings, but he gave up both home runs to Salem. Giordano improved to 5-1 on the year.

Manhattan returns to action on Wednesday when the Jaspers visit Columbia for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. The Jaspers host Canisius next weekend for a three-game MAAC series which begins on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

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