Jaspers Open MAAC Play By Taking Two From Iona
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The Manhattan College baseball team began its quest for a third consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) title with a doubleheader at Iona on Saturday afternoon. After notching a 4-3 victory in the opener, the Jaspers (8-9, 2-0 MAAC) rallied for a 5-4 extra inning triumph over the Gaels (2-19, 0-2 MAAC) in game two of the twinbill at City Park.
After leaving the bases loaded in the second inning of game one, the Jaspers got on the board with two in the third. Nick Camastro (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) led off the inning with an infield single, and he later scored on Ramon Ortega’s (Miami, Fla.) triple to left. Brendan Slattery (Danbury, Conn.) then belted a single to right center, allowing Ortega to come home with the game’s second run.
Iona manufactured a run in the bottom of the fourth, but the Jaspers countered with a tally in the fifth. Kyle Murphy (Waterbury, Conn.) drew a one-out walk and Ortega followed with a base hit. Slattery was up next, and he delivered an RBI single that increased Manhattan’s lead to 3-1.
The Gaels battled back, though, pulling within one on Christian Choman’s pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh, and tying the game at 3-3 on a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Guiliano in the eighth. However, the Jaspers immediately countered in the top of the ninth. Aidan John O’Leary (Portsmouth, N.H.) reached on an error to start the inning, then Murphy ripped a single to knock him home and put Manhattan back in front. Iona had the winning run on first with two out in the bottom of the ninth before Jacob Marchus (Miami, Fla.) fanned pinch hitter Chris Sand to secure the 4-3 victory.
Manhattan collected 11 hits as a team in game one, with Ortega going 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Slattery went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while Joe McClennan (Highland Mills, N.Y.) was 2-for-4 at the plate. John Soldinger (Bay Shore, N.Y.) got the start on the mound and went seven innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, struck out three and walked three. Marchus (2-1) earned the win after surrendering just one hit and striking out one in two innings of shutout relief.
Eight different Iona players had a hit in the game, while leadoff hitter Joe Torres scored two of the Gaels’ three runs. Starter Eddie Macaluso lasted six innings on the mound, giving up three runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out two. Conan Leon (0-2) was tagged with the loss after yielding an unearned run and two hits in the ninth.
In game two, Manhattan struck for three runs in the third. After starting the inning with singles by Joe McClennan and Matt Troisi (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Yoandry Galan (Miami, Fla.) bunted the runners over to second and third. Camastro then lifted a sacrifice fly to put the Jaspers on the board. O’Leary reached on an infield single and Murphy walked to load the bases before Ortega knocked in a pair with a base hit through the left side. Manhattan made it 4-0 in the fourth when Troisi scored on Camastro’s single to center.
However, Iona once again cut into the Manhattan lead with an unearned tally in the bottom of the fourth. The Gaels then took advantage of some shaky Manhattan defense in the sixth, turning a Jasper error into two more unearned runs. With the Jaspers’ advantage now standing at just one run, 4-3, in the bottom of the seventh, Iona got a one-out single from Torres. He moved to second on a balk and took third on a wild pitch, setting up Matthew Kriss for a single to right center that tied the game. Guiliano followed with a single to left, putting the winning run on second, before Marchus got Matt Hratko to fly out, sending the contest into extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth, Manhattan loaded the bases on three consecutive walks in the top of the ninth. Camastro then delivered a fly ball to center field, and Joe McClennan scored on the sacrifice fly. Michael Scarinci (Nanuet, N.Y.) then retired the Gaels in order in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the 5-4 victory.
Troisi went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Ortega was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs in game two. Camastro, meanwhile, finished 1-for-3 and knocked in three runs out of the leadoff spot. Joe McClennan also scored twice in the contest. Starting pitcher Michael Martin (Massapequa, N.Y.) went six innings. He yielded three unearned runs on eight hits and struck out six. Marchus allowed one run on three hits over one inning of work, while Scarinci (1-1) retired all six batters he faced, two on strikes, to earn the win.
Iona outhit Manhattan 11-7, and Joe Smith finished a home run short of the cycle. He also scored a run and drove in another. Bobby Vitulano, Matthew Kriss and Guiliano all had two-hit games for the Gaels. Max Bruckner surrendered four runs on seven hits while striking out two and walking one over seven innings of work. Thomas Kriss (0-3) took the loss despite not giving up a hit in 1.1 innings. He yielded one run, struck out two and walked two.The series concludes with a single nine-inning game on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.