Jaspers down Iona in Doubleheader
Box Score - Game One
Box Score - Game Two
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Junior catcher Ramon Ortega drove in four runs to help lead Manhattan to a doubleheader sweep of Iona (9-17, 2-3 MAAC) on Sunday at Van Cortlandt Park. The Jaspers took an 8-7 walk-off victory in game one with sophomore right fielder Andrew Gorecki delivering the game winning hit. Then in game two, Manhattan (7-17, 3-2 MAAC) rallied behind a superb performance from freshman starter Michael Scarinci who pitched six strong innings to help the Jaspers take a 4-1 decision.
The Jaspers used an all around team effort as they improved to a perfect 4-0 at home this season and won their third straight contest. Sophomore reliever Jacob Marchus finished off both ballgames for Manhattan as he earned the win in game one and picked up the save in the second contest. Junior third baseman Kyle Murphy had two doubles, drove in two runs and scored three runs on the afternoon. Jaspers' freshman Joe McClennan blasted his first career homer, while classmate Vin Teixeira hit .429 over the two game set.
It took Manhattan seven innings to get their bats warmed up in game one. But once they were warm, Manhattan put together an eight run rally over the final two frames to earn the thrilling comeback victory. All eight of Manhattan's runs were unearned as the Jaspers took advantage of two critical Iona errors.
Facing a six run deficit against Gaels' sophomore starter Eddie Macaluso, the Jaspers finally got their break in the eighth inning. Junior designated hitter Nick Camastro doubled in Anthony Vega with two outs on what was only the Jaspers' second hit of the game. Then the second error of the day by Gaels' second baseman Bobby Vitulano set the stage for Ortega's three run homer to left field that brought Manhattan within 6-4.
Jaspers' senior reliever Taylor Sewitt, who shut down the Gaels in the eighth inning, turned the ball over to Marchus after recording the first out of the ninth inning. Marchus minimized the damage after a throwing error as he let in only one run on designated hitter Jimmy Guiliano's RBI single to keep Manhattan within striking distance.
Iona junior reliever Jimmy Kriss took the ball from Macaluso in the ninth inning with the Gaels harboring a 7-4 advantage in an attempt to close the ballgame. But another costly error plagued Iona in the first at bat of the frame. Jaspers' junior pinch hitter Julian De La Rosa sent routine fly ball to right fielder Joe Smith that he dropped. Manhattan freshman left fielder Aidan O'Leary and Teixeira then delivered back-to-back singles to load up the bases.
Kriss battled back to get then next two outs, a strikeout and foul out, but he didn't have an answer after Camastro was hit by a pitch and Murphy doubled in two runs to lock the score at 7-7. The Gaels pitched around Ortega to get to Gorecki with the bases loaded. Gorecki took advantage of the opportunity as he smashed the two-out game winning RBI single up the middle.
The Jaspers carried their momentum into game two generating two runs off another Iona error in the first inning. Vega scored on a wild throw after Murphy's double. Ortega then put Manhattan on top 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
McClennan launched a solo home run to lead off the second inning and in the third inning he posted an RBI double that gave the Jaspers a 4-0 cushion. McClennan finished 2-for-3 from the plate.
Manhattan's four runs were more than enough for Scarinci who was rolling on the mound. The reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week carried a perfect game into the fourth inning and retired the first 11 batters that he faced. Scarinci finished pitching six stellar innings with four strikeouts en route to his third straight victory.
The Jaspers turned to the bullpen for Marchus to get the final two outs of the contest. Marchus answered the call by forcing Iona senior third baseman Chris Burke, the conference's Preseason Player of the Year, into a game ending double play with the bases loaded.
Manhattan will go for the sweep of Iona in the three game MAAC series on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Van Cortlandt Park.