Baseball Splits Double Header
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - The Manhattan baseball team split their double header on the second day of the "Strike Out Cancer" Tournament at Seton Hall on Saturday afternoon. The Jaspers earned a walk off win over Massachusetts, 2-1, in game one, before falling 17-7 to Seton Hall in the nightcap.
Game was a solid pitchers duel ensued early on as Michael Martin (Massapequa, N.Y./Chaminade) and DJ Jauss each battled one another to keep the game scoreless. After seven innings, neither team had let up a run as both teams made strong defensive plays behind their starters. UMASS had runners on base in every inning, including loading the bases in the third with two outs before Martin induced an inning ending fly out to right.
Manhattan had their opportunities early on as well, but base running troubles kept the game scoreless. After getting two quick outs in the bottom of the third, the Jaspers loaded the bases with two hit batters and a walk. However, Matt Troisi (Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian) would pop up to the pitcher, ending the threat.
Martin and Jauss continued to battle back and forth, stranding multiple runners for each team. Finally, the Minutemen would break through in the eighth. Relief pitcher Sean Abbate (Levittown, N.Y./Division Avenue) gave up back-to-back doubles to Nik Campero and Adam Picard to begin the inning, allowing UMASS to go up 1-0. Abbate would then give up a walk to Vinny Scifo, ending his day without recording an out.
Freshman Chris Liquori (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) came on in relief and gave up an infield single that hit hard off the glove of second baseman Nick Camastro (Lagrangeville, N.Y./Arlington) to load the bases with nobody out. The rookie would not be perturbed; however, as a ground ball back to the mound would easily be turned into a fielder's choice at the plate for the first out. Then, Rich Graef would pop out into an inning ending double play in a bizarre way. Squaring around to bunt, the pitch came up and in to the left handed hitter. By throwing the bat up to protect himself, he popped the ball to first base. Kyle Murphy (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) made an easy grab and, with the squeeze play on for UMASS, quickly threw out the runner at third to end the frame.
Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, Yoandry Galan (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian) was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the tying run into scoring position with one out. After Camastro hit a hard line drive to third that held the runner, Murphy walked to put two runners on with two outs. Troisi would then ground out to second base, ending the threat.
Liquori pitched a scoreless ninth, allowing just a walk, giving the Jaspers a chance to win it in the bottom half. Dan Stoops would come on in relief for the Minuteman, looking to seal the deal. Christian Santisteban (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) started things off by getting hit by a pitch and was pinch-run for by Joe Rock (Carmel, N.Y./Kennedy Catholic). Another hit batter, Joe McClennan (Highland Mills, N.Y./Cornwall), gave Manhattan two runners on with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth.
Aaron Plunkett would relieve Stoops for UMASS before Brendan Slattery (Danbury, Conn./Brookfield) laid down a pinch-hit sacrifice bunt that put both the tying and winning runs in scoring position with only one out. Ramon Ortega (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) was intentionally walked after pinch hitting to load the bases. A wild pitch to Galan brought home the tying run as Rock narrowly beat the tag, knotting things up at 1-1. Then, with the defense pulled in, Galan laced a line drive into the right centerfield gap to bring in the winning run.
Martin, who earned the no decision, tossed seven scoreless innings giving up six hits, while walking five and striking out three. Liquori (1-0) got the first win of his collegiate career throwing two innings of shutout ball in relief allowing just one hit and walking one.
For UMASS, Jauss got a no decision after eight scoreless while Stoops took the loss giving up two runs on no hits and a walk. Both catchers were key in keeping the game low scoring as both Brandon Walsh of UMASS and Manhattan's Chris Reynolds (Wall, N.J./St. Rose) each threw out two runners.
In the nightcap however, the Manhattan pitching struggled against the Seton Hall bats. After the Jaspers stranded one runner in the top of the first, the Pirates took advantage of a defensive miscue. Leadoff hitter Zack Granite hit a sharp ball to short that Galan fielded, but his throw was too low for Murphy to pick and he was charged with an error. Two bunt singles would follow to load the bases with nobody out against starter Matt Jordan (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston). Giuseppe Papaccio then laced a double down the left field line, scoring two, to give Seton Hall a 2-0 lead. Sal Annunziata and Alex Falconi each drove in runs in the next two at bats, with Falconi being thrown out after over running second for just the first out of the frame as the Pirates led 4-0.
Jordan then hit Mike Genovese with a pitch to put runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the first. A wild pitch would bring in another run before Jordan struck out Derek Jenkins to record the second out of the frame. Seton Hall would eventually add three more runs on two more hits and a throwing error from Jordan, before Scott Kalamar struck out to end the game.
With an 8-0 lead after three innings, the Pirates added to it in the bottom of the fourth. After a Papaccio double put runners on second and third with one out, Jordan got Annunziata to strike out swinging, but a dropped third strike allowed him to advance to first and keep the inning alive. A bases loaded walk made in 9-0 Seton Hall before Abbate was brought on to pitch for the second time during the day. Genovese hit a single down the third base line, adding another run, but Abbate settled in and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
While the offense was pushing across runs, Greg Terhune was shutting down the Manhattan offense. Through five innings, he had allowed just four base runners, only two on hits. In the top of the sixth the Jaspers bat started to make things interesting. With a new pitcher on the mound, Manhattan reeled off three straight one-out hits. Camastro and Murphy both singled before Ortega hit a double down the left field line scoring Camastro to put the Jaspers on the board.
Another pitching change wouldn't slow Manhattan down as Slattery walked to load the bases. Then, Vin Teixeira (Hamden, Conn./Hamden Hall Country Day) hit a line drive down the right field line that cleared the bases making the score 10-4, Seton Hall. After Santisteban walked, and another pitcher was brought in for the Pirates, Rock reached on an error by the shortstop to load the bases once more. Galan then worked a walk to bring in another run, before Camastro hit a two run single with two outs to cut the deficit to three at 10-7 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Unfortunately for Manhattan, the Pirates responded in the home half of the inning. Freshman Casey Meyers (Brookside, N.J./Mendham) came on to pitch and promptly struck out Annunziata to start the frame. He would then hit the next batter, Falconi, and advance him to second on a balk with one out. A Genovese single put runners on the corners before a fielding error from Camastro allowed a run to score.
The Pirates then opened it up again with five more runs in the bottom of the sixth to lead 16-7 after six innings. They would tack on one more in the seventh, while their pitchers held Manhattan off the scoreboard for the final two innings.
Terhune (1-1) got the win for Seton Hall tossing five shutout innings giving up just two hits, one walk and striking out four. Jordan (1-3) took the loss for the Jaspers, allowing 10 runs, five earned, in three and one-third innings of work. The lefty also struck out six while walking just one batter.
Manhattan (5-9) concludes their participation in the "Strike Out Cancer" tournament when they take on UMASS at noon on Sun., March 17 at Owen T. Carroll Field on the campus of Seton Hall University.