Jaspers Cruise Past Army
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan baseball team exploded for its highest scoring performance of the year on Wednesday when the Jaspers rolled to an 18-11 victory over Army (19-8) in West Point, N.Y. Senior designated hitter Matt Troisi and junior catcher Ramon Ortega led the Manhattan offense as they each hit 4-for-5 and drove in four runs apiece.
Manhattan (9-17) overcame a five run deficit and outscored the Black Knights 13-1 over the last six innings to earn its fifth consecutive victory. The Jaspers received five solid innings out of the bullpen from senior pitcher Taylor Sewitt who had three strikeouts and walked only one batter as he improved to 4-1 this season.
The Jaspers scattered 16 hits and even left 14 runners on base in the seven run triumph. Juniors Nick Camastro and Kyle Murphy contributed three hits each to Manhattan's 16 total hits. Camastro matched Ortega by scoring four runs and delivering two doubles in the Jaspers largest margin of victory this season.
Ortega smashed his second home run of the year to cap a two run first inning for the Jaspers. Army responded with six runs in the bottom of the first inning with senior designated hitter Kevin McKague blasting a two run shot. The Jaspers got back three runs in the third inning, but Army managed to tack on four runs in the bottom of the frame to build a 10-5 lead. The Black Knights offensive spurt featured a two RBI double from McKague who finished 4-for-5 at the plate.
Manhattan battled back scoring a run in the fourth inning when freshman Joe McClennan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and then in the sixth inning Ortega doubled home two runs and Troisi knocked in the third with a RBI single. The Jaspers generated six runs on five hits in the seventh inning to regain the lead, taking a 15-10 advantage. Junior centerfielder Anthony Vega got the scoring flurry started with a solo home run, marking his first of the season. Vega contributed two RBI, scored two runs and recorded his 14th steal of the year.
The Jaspers gave their pitching staff more support in the top of the eighth inning scoring three runs on RBIs from Ortega, Troisi and freshman Aidan O'Leary. O'Leary had two RBI coming off the Manhattan bench.
Manhattan relievers Matt Jordan and Dan Feinberg finished the final three innings strong on the mound. Jordan retired all three batters in order in the seventh inning before turning the ball over to Feinberg who yielded only three hits in the last two frames.
Black Knights' senior right-hander Scott Lucado received the loss falling to 0-2 on the season as he was responsible for four of the Jaspers' six runs in the seventh inning. Army's six man pitching rotation accounted for 13 hit batters in the contest.
Manhattan will attempt to keep its win streak alive this weekend in its MAAC series with Niagara at Van Cortlandt Park. The Jaspers will host the Purple Eagles for the first contest on Friday at 3 p.m. The series is scheduled to conclude on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.