Manhattan Clinches MAAC Regular-Season Title
Box Score - Game One
Box Score - Game Two
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan College baseball team clinched its fourth MAAC Regular-Season title in the last five years on Thursday with a doubleheader sweep of Siena (18-36, 8-15 MAAC). The top-seeded Jaspers will enter the 2012 MAAC Tournament next week at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, N.Y. looking to defend their MAAC Championship and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history.
Manhattan (28-24, 17-6 MAAC) got on the board early in both contests scoring 12 of the 17 total runs in the second inning as the Jaspers rolled to an 11-7 triumph in game one and a 6-0 victory in game two. With the sweep of the Saints, the Jaspers extended their win streak to six games and improved to a perfect 17-0 at Van Cortlandt Park this season.
In game one, junior left fielder Chris Kalousdian went 3-for-4 from the plate, drove in three runs and scored two runs to lead the Manhattan offense. Juniors Nick Camastro and Anthony Vega posted two RBI apiece in the 11-7 win.
Jaspers' junior starter John Soldinger won his fifth conference game of the season pitching five innings and striking out four Saints along the way. It marked Soldinger's 21st career victory at Manhattan, putting him in seventh place on the program's all-time list right behind senior Mike Giordano who logged his 22nd victory in game two.
Manhattan gave Soldinger a seven run cushion in a second inning that started off with a two-RBI single by Kalousdian. Vega followed with another two run single, then it was Camastro's two run double and junior first baseman Kyle Murphy capped it off with a RBI single.
The Saints clawed their way back into the contest using a five run fourth inning to get within striking distance. Siena sophomore second baseman Vincent Citro's double to left field coupled with an error resulted in three runs to top off the inning. Junior Larry Balkwill launched a solo home run in the fifth inning to draw Siena within 7-6, but that was as close as the Saints could get.
Sophomore reliever Scott McClennan limited the Saints to only three hits over the last four innings to earn the save. While McClennan was getting it done on the mound, the Jaspers tacked on two runs on two hits and three errors in the fifth inning and one run in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Siena starter Ryan Paplawski received the loss lasting only 1 2/3 innings. He was responsible for seven earned runs and walked four batters.
In game two, the Jaspers' pitching staff combined for a four-hit shutout in the 6-0 victory. Giordano won the final start of his career at Van Cortlandt Park by pitching four strong innings with four strikeouts and allowing only two hits. Freshman Michael Scarinci pitched the next two innings of two hit ball before senior Matt Jordan retired the side in order in the seventh inning to lock it up.
Manhattan's five run second inning flurry proved to be more than enough to get past the Saints. The Jaspers rallied for five straight singles and then sophomore shortstop Yoandry Galan drew a walk with the bases loaded to get the first three runs on the scoreboard before an out was recorded. Vega and Camastro drove in the last two runs of the frame off Siena starter Justin Brantley.
Jaspers' junior catcher Brendan Slattery knocked in his second run of the game in the sixth inning expanding the lead to 6-0 on an RBI double to right center that capped his perfect 3-for-3 performance. It was Slattery's fifth double of the year and he reached the .500 batting average plateau in his 10th appearance this season.
Brantley pitched the complete game and logged three strikeouts falling to 2-9 on the year. For Giordano it was his second straight win.
The Jaspers carry the nation's second longest active home win streak into the final game of the regular-season against Siena tomorrow at Van Cortlandt Park. Manhattan will look to maintain its unblemished home record at 12 p.m. when the Jaspers and Saints square off again.