Wild Finish Sends Manhattan Past Fordham
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Junior first baseman Kyle Murphy topped off another thrilling comeback victory at Van Cortlandt Park by delivering the game-winning RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to send Manhattan (14-17) to a 6-5 triumph over Fordham (14-20). Murphy and junior centerfielder Anthony Vega anchored the Manhattan offense by each posting two hits and smashing a pair of two-run homers to extend the fifth longest active win streak in NCAA Division I to 10 games on Wednesday.
The Jaspers got a major break in the bottom of the ninth inning when Rams' left fielder Stephen McSherry botched a ground ball on Manhattan sophomore Yoandry Galan's one out single. McSherry missed the ball as he tried to field it with one hand and it trickled all the way to the fence. Galan was trucking around the bases and by the time McSherry got it to the infield he had already crossed home plate to tie the contest at 5-5.
Manhattan junior captain Nick Camastro made it a point to capitalize on the error as he followed with a key two out double to right field that set the stage for Murphy's clutch hit. Murphy locked in on Fordham closer Jeremy Adel and he drove a hard hit ground ball up the middle to get Camastro across home plate for the winning run.
Jaspers' senior pitcher Taylor Sewitt added a dominant performance in his first career start. Sewitt stifled Fordham for six strong innings as he struck out a career-high nine batters and yielded only one walk.
Sewitt retired the first seven batters in order, while also striking out five of the first eight outs. Rams' sophomore Tim Swatek jumped on one of Sewitt's few mistakes in the third inning when he turned on a pitch sending a two run homer out of right field.
Fordham tacked on two more runs with two outs in the fourth inning when McSherry contributed a RBI double to right field. He scored later in the inning on a throwing error to put the Rams on top 4-0. McSherry finished 2-for-3 from the plate and scored two runs.
Manhattan touched up Rams' starting pitcher John Porter for four runs in the fifth inning to tie the contest at 4-4. Vega laced the first two run homer, which exited right field in a hurry, and then Murphy crushed the second two run bomb that cleared the left field fence. Galan started the rally with his first of two singles on the afternoon.
Jaspers' sophomore reliever Jacob Marchus helped bail senior relief pitcher Matt Jordan out of a jam in the seventh inning with minimal damage caused. Jordan walked the first three batters of the inning, which prompted the call to the bullpen for Marchus.
The first batter Marchus faced was freshman third baseman Joseph Calabrese who dropped a fly ball into left field just out of the reach of diving Jaspers' outfielder Aidan O'Leary. He was immediately ruled for trapping the ball, but a heads up play to get it back to the infield quickly allowed the Jaspers to turn an unconventional 7-5-4 double play on the RBI single that put Fordham on top 5-4. Then a quick pick off move by Marchus caught Calabrese off second base for the final out of the frame.
Marchus turned the ball over to junior right hander John Soldinger in the ninth inning. Soldinger worked seamlessly through the inning as he set the stage for his second straight victory.
With the win, Manhattan improves to a perfect 10-0 at Van Cortlandt Park this season. The Jaspers have won 11 straight games in Riverdale dating back to the 2011 campaign, which is the fourth longest active home win streak in the nation.
Manhattan looks to continue its hot streak when the Jaspers travel to Rider this weekend for a three game MAAC series. The Jaspers and Broncs are scheduled for a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m. and the final game is set for Sunday also at noon.