Manhattan Earns Split with Columbia
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Manhattan baseball team earned a split with area rival Columbia on Wednesday, falling in game one 6-3 before shutting out the Lions 4-0 in the night cap. With the split the Jaspers (10-10) remained at .500 on the season while the Lions fell to 7-12 on the season.
In game one, Manhattan jumped on the board early with two runs in the first. Ramon Ortega (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) laced a one-out triple to right field platting both Nick Camastro (Lagrangeville, N.Y./Arlington) and Kyle Murphy (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) who each worked walks off starting pitcher Joey Gandolfo. Ortega would then try to score on a soft groundball off the bat of Brendan Slattery (Danbury, Conn./Brookfield) but was tagged out at the plate for the second out of the frame. Columbia quickly responded with a run of their own in the home half when Nick Ferraresi singled home Eric Williams to cut the lead in half.
Jasper starter Matt Jordan (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) settled in during the second working around a two out hit batter to hold the Lions at bay. However, in the third, Columbia was able to get the best of the Manhattan southpaw. After hitting the first batter of the inning, Columbia played small-ball, advancing the runner on a sacrifice bunt. A one out walk to Alex Black put runners on first and second for the Lions before Ferraresi delivered again with another RBI single. A throwing error from Slattery in left would allow another run to come across, giving the Lions a 3-2 lead after three.
From there, the Manhattan bats were silenced as three pitchers combined for four innings on one run ball in relief. Meanwhile, the Lions offense tacked on two more in the fifth and another in the sixth for a four run advantage. During their last at-bat, the Jaspers looked for a rally in the top of the seventh. Consecutive singles from Camastro and Aidan John O’Leary (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) led off the frame before two quick fly-outs brought Manhattan to their final out. Matt Troisi (Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian) pinch-hit for Slattery and delivered with an RBI single cutting the lead to 6-3. Unfortunately for the Jaspers, Joe McClennan (Highland Mills, N.Y./Cornwall) would end game one with a soft ground out to third.
Jordan (1-4) took the loss tossing four and two-thirds innings giving five runs, three earned, on five hits. He also struck out four and walked three before being pulled in the fifth. Zack Tax (1-0) picked up the win in relief, pitching a perfect fourth and fifth innings for Columbia.
Game two began much like the first, with the Jaspers going ahead early. The nightcap would end differently as Manhattan would not let a single run, thanks to impressive showing from Sean Abbate (Levittown, N.Y./Division Avenue). Once again, the Jaspers scored in their first at-bat when Christian Santisteban (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) hit a two out single to centerfield driving in O’Leary who reached on a fielding error. In the fourth, another error helped Manhattan to double their lead. Following two quick outs to start, Galan walked and Camastro singled to put two on for the Jaspers. O’Leary then came up and drove a single to left that would have loaded the bases but a throwing error from Williams allowed Galan to score.
While the Jaspers were taking advantage of their opponent’s defensive miscues, Abbate (1-0) was silencing the bats on the hill. The sophomore righty tossed five scoreless innings allowing just four hits and three walks. During his five frames he also struck out two batters and allowed only one runner to reach second base.
In the top of the fifth, Santisteban put the game out of reach with a two run homerun off Willis Robbins to put Manhattan up 4-0. Michael Scarinci (Nanuet, N.Y./Pearl River) made sure the Lions would have no comeback as he tossed two innings of hitless ball in relief, allowing one walk.
Kevin Roy (0-1), who got the start in game two for Columbia, took the loss giving up one unearned run in three innings of work. Thomas Crispi also gave up an unearned run in his one inning of work as four Lions pitchers saw action.
Manhattan returns to the diamond this weekend for their second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) series of the year. The Jaspers will travel to Buffalo, N.Y. for a three game set with Niagara beginning on Fri., March 29 with one game before a double header on Saturday starting at noon.