Manhattan Completes Perfect Home Season
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan College baseball team enters the NCAA Division I record books as the only club in the nation to go undefeated at home in 2012. The Jaspers finished off their perfect 18-0 season at Van Cortlandt Park with a 2-1 victory over Siena (18-37, 8-16 MAAC) Friday.
With its seventh straight victory, Manhattan (29-24, 18-6 MAAC) carries the nation's fifth longest active win streak into the 2012 MAAC Tournament next week as the Jaspers vie for their second straight championship. The top-seeded Jaspers will play #4 Rider in the opening round on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, N.Y.
Junior starter Taylor Sewitt delivered another solid pitching performance winning his third straight start to finish the regular-season with a MAAC best 8-1 record. Sewitt went seven full innings, he struck out five Saints and yielded only four walks before turning the ball to the bullpen. Sophomore closer Jacob Marchus picked up his seventh save of the year by striking out the last two batters of the contest.
Runs were hard to come by on Friday after the Jaspers scored a combined 17 runs in the first two games of the series with Siena. Manhattan struck first for the third straight game and did not trail the Saints in the entire three game series. In the first inning, junior catcher Ramon Ortega drove in junior second baseman Nick Camastro with a single through the right side to give the Jaspers a one run cushion. It was Ortega's team leading 45th RBI.
Saints' freshmen starter Matt Gage and reliever James Murray held Manhattan off the scoreboard until the sixth inning when back-to-back doubles from freshman third baseman Joe McClennan and senior designated hitter Matt Troisi in the second run. McClennan laced his fifth double of the year down the left field line and Troisi smashed his sixth of the season also to left field. McClennan, the MAAC reigning Rookie of the Week, had the Jaspers' hot bat against Siena hitting a team best .455 in the series.
The contest got tight in the eighth inning when a Siena lead off triple by Vincent Citro and a RBI single by designated hitter Louis Iannotti pulled the Saints within 2-1. Jaspers' freshman pitcher Michael Scarinci battled back getting three straight fly outs, with the help of a brilliant over the shoulder grab by Camastro in shallow center field.
After hitting the lead off batter in the top of the ninth inning, Marchus stepped up to get out of the jam. The Saints worked left fielder Ted Trymbiski, the potential tying run, over to third base with two outs before Marchus slammed the door on Siena. Marchus rung up shortstop Andrew Sawyer with a called strike three to seal the victory.
The Jaspers will play the 3 p.m. game on day one of the MAAC Tournament versus #4 Rider. The MAAC Tournament is a double elimination tournament running from May 24 to 27, if necessary.