Manhattan Takes Down Niagara in Extra Innings
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Sophomore shortstop Yoandry Galan capped a 3-for-4 performance at the plate with a walk-off RBI single to give Manhattan a 6-5 victory over Niagara in 12 innings on Friday at Van Cortlandt Park. Jasper relief pitchers Matt Jordan, Jacob Marchus and Nick Girardi put the Purple Eagles on lock down yielding only one hit in the final five innings to help propel Manhattan (10-17, 5-2 MAAC) to its sixth straight victory. Girardi picked up the first win of his career after retiring the three batters he faced in the 12th inning.
The Jaspers offense got going early coming off its highest scoring output of the season in a seven run victory at Army on Wednesday. Manhattan put runs on the scoreboard in each of the first four innings as the Jaspers opened a 5-2 lead on Niagara (10-14, 3-3 MAAC).
Junior second baseman Nick Camastro blasted his eighth double in the first inning, marking the first of Manhattan's 13 hits. It helped set the stage for the Jaspers first two runs as freshman third baseman Joe McClennan's delivered an RBI single, which triggered a Niagara throwing error on the play and let the second run come in.
Camastro beat out an infield single in the second inning to drive in freshman left fielder Aidan O'Leary. Jaspers' junior catcher Ramon Ortega went opposite field for a solo home run in the third inning to give Manhattan a 4-1 edge lead.
Niagara first baseman Ryan McCauley smacked a solo home run of his own off the left field scoreboard to lead off the fourth inning. But the Jaspers answered in the bottom of the frame when Galan scored from second base on a two-out throwing error, which built Manhattan a 5-2 edge.
Manhattan starting pitcher Michael Scarinci retired six of the first seven batters he faced and carried the Jaspers into the eighth inning. It was only in the fifth inning that he ran into trouble as the Purple Eagles managed to tie the ball game at 5-5. Niagara scored all three of its runs during a two out rally that was powered by third baseman Eric Hink's two RBI triple.
The Jasper relievers dominated the final five innings beginning with Jordan who worked the eighth and ninth. Jordan had two strikeouts and retired six of seven batters faced. Marchus carried Manhattan through the 10th and 11th innings without allowing a hit and striking out one batter. He made quick work of the Purple Eagles in the 11th by sitting three batters down in order.
With the Jaspers missing a few opportunities the get the winning run across the plate in extra innings, Girardi stepped up and kept the superb relief pitching effort going in the 12th inning. He set the tone with a strikeout of Purple Eagles left fielder Anthony Ruggiero. Then after giving up a walk, junior first baseman Kyle Murphy turned an unassisted double play to end the inning.
Sophomore Chris Kalousdian gave Manhattan a boost in the bottom of the 12th with a lead off double down the left field line. Two batters later, Galan dropped the game-winning RBI single into right field as Manhattan improved to a perfect 6-0 at Van Cortlandt Park this season.
Purple Eagles sophomore reliever Geoff Soja was on record for the loss falling to 1-3 on the year. Soja pitched 3 2/3 innings and posted three strikeouts.
Manhattan will wrap up its three game MAAC series with Niagara on Saturday. The Jaspers host the Purple Eagles for a doubleheader that begins at 12 p.m.