Jaspers Knock Off Hofstra in Home Opener
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan baseball team extended the program's undefeated streak in home openers to eight straight years on Wednesday as the Jaspers rolled to a 9-4 victory over Hofstra (8-10). Coming off a grueling 16-game road stretch to open the season, Manhattan (3-14) enjoyed its 2012 debut at Van Cortlant Park with its 27th win in the last 29 contests in Riverdale. Jaspers' underclassmen Andrew Gorecki, Yoandry Galan and Aidan O'Leary led the offensive charge with two RBI apiece in Manhattan's second straight victory.
The Jaspers also rallied behind the solid pitching performances by sophomore starter Jared Hirschberg and senior reliever Taylor Sewitt. Hirschberg was hitless through 3 1/3 innings before turning the ball over to Sewitt who led Manhattan into the ninth inning yielding only three hits as he passed along a 9-2 advantage.
The Manhattan bats were still warm after the Jaspers' top offensive performance of the season on Sunday in a 13-11 victory at West Virginia. The Jaspers struck first in the opening frame and never looked back. Gorecki and O'Leary delivered back-to-back RBI singles to put the Jaspers out front 2-0. Galan delivered the big hit in the third inning with a two run single that gave the Jaspers a 4-0 edge.
The Pride got a pair of unearned runs on the scoreboard in the fourth inning following a throwing error in an attempt to turn a double play. Kevin Flynn and Taylor Stuart each capitalized on the mishap by driving in two runs to cut into the Manhattan advantage, 4-2.
Junior designated hitter Nick Camastro helped trigger Manhattan's three run surge in the sixth inning. Camastro smashed his third double of the season, and after the Jaspers loaded up the bases junior catcher Ramon Ortega knocked in the first run with an infield single. Gorecki walked with the bases loaded and O'Leary singled home the third run of the frame to give Manhattan a 7-2 lead.
Jaspers' senior Matt Troisi had a pinch hit RBI single in the eighth inning. Then freshman third baseman Joe McClennan drove in the second run with a single to left field that allowed the Jaspers to hand over a seven run cushion to sophomore reliever Jacob Marchus. Marchus recorded the final three outs, including a strikeout, to seal the victory.
Manhattan returns to action on Saturday when the Jaspers travel to Marist for its MAAC opener. Manhattan will face the Red Foxes in a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. and wrap up the three game conference series on Sunday at 12 p.m.