Jaspers Stay Perfect at Home with Rout of Fordham
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan baseball team won its 10th consecutive home game to remain undefeated at Van Cortlandt Park this season with an 8-0 victory over cross-Bronx rival Fordham (27-18) on Tuesday. Jaspers' freshmen pitchers Scott McClennan and Kevin Bonanni combined for the shutout of the Rams as Manhattan improved to 24-15 overall.
Jaspers' senior sluggers Mark Onorati, Chad Salem and Austin Sheffield drove in five of Manhattan's eight runs. Onorati went 3-for-4 from the plate and scored two runs, while Salem and Sheffield each finished with two RBIs.
Manhattan jumped out to a one run lead in the first inning, courtesy of Sheffield's RBI single, which marked the fourth straight contest the Jaspers scored in their opening frame. Sheffield extended Manhattan's lead to 2-0 with a one-out sacrifice fly in the third inning to record his 22nd RBI of the year.
While Sheffield pushed Manhattan out to an early advantage, McClennan was rolling on the mound. The right-hander from Suffern, N.Y. retired 20 of the first 21 batters he faced with the help of a solid defense around him. Jaspers' freshman catcher Mikey Miranda threw out two Rams who tried stealing second base. In addition, second baseman Yoandry Galan, Miranda's high school teammate, turned a double play in the sixth inning, and then made a perfect relay to throw out Fordham catcher Chris Walker at third base in the seventh inning.
Manhattan tacked on its third run of the ballgame with bases loaded RBI single from Onorati in the sixth inning. The Jaspers went up 5-0 in the seventh inning after Salem scored on a fielding error and sophomore designated hitter Ramon Ortega delivered a sacrifice fly to send Mike McCann across home plate.
Bonanni emerged out of the bullpen in the eighth inning as he proceeded to retire six of the seven batters he faced. The Plainview, N.Y. native allowed only one hit and recorded a strikeout in his ninth appearance of the season.
Salem anchored the Jaspers' three run eighth inning by producing a two-run double that sent Manhattan out to an eight run lead. He increased his team-leading RBI total to 45.
McClennan received credit for the victory after his dominant performance over seven innings of work. He finished with two strikeouts to earn his second win. Fordham starting pitcher Brian Thompson took his first loss of the year as he lasted 4 2/3 innings, gave up two earned runs and walked three Jaspers.
Manhattan will resume MAAC action this weekend when the Jaspers visit Niagara. The doubleheader on Saturday is slated for 12 p.m.