Jaspers Home Win Streak Ends in Split with Marist
RIVERDALE, N.Y. – The Manhattan baseball team, which went a perfect 18-0 at home last season, watched its home win streak fall in a double header split with Marist on Saturday. The Jaspers took game one, 3-2, against the Red Foxes before falling 16-1 in game two to their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) rival. It was the first loss at Van Cortlandt Park since May 14, 2011 against Rider, snapping a streak of 21 straight home victories.
In the first game, the Jaspers (12-15, 4-4 MAAC) jumped on the board early when Brendan Slattery (Danbury, Conn./Brookfield) drove in a run on an RBI groundout in the first inning. That looked to be all Manhattan would need as starting pitcher John Soldinger (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore) didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings. In the fourth however, Marist (15-11, 6-2 MAAC) would tie the game up. With the bases loaded and only one out, Jake Berry hit a hard ground ball to the right side of the infield. As first baseman Kyle Murphy (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) charged the ball, it skipped up his arm and through, allowing a run to come home. Soldinger would regroup and retire the next two batters in order.
Manhattan looked to regain the lead in the home half of the fifth as the first two runners reached. However, Nick Camastro (Lagrangeville, N.Y./Arlington) lined out to second baseman Joey Aiola who doubled off Aidan John O'Leary (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) at second, effectively ending the threat. The Jaspers had a strong defensive stand of their own in the top of the sixth as Marist loaded the bases with one out. Aiola would then hit a soft line drive to shallow left where Slattery made a diving catch and threw to second for an inning ending double play.
The Red Foxes would break through in the seventh though against relief pitcher Michael Scarinci (Nanuet, N.Y./Pearl River). A Matt Pagano one-out triple would be followed two batters later by Zach Shank’s RBI single, giving Marist a 2-1 advantage. Marist starting pitcher Chris Bielak then worked out of a first-and-third situation in the bottom half of the frame.
After a scoreless top of the eighth, the Manhattan bats went to work in the home half. Following a leadoff line out from Ramon Ortega (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus), the Jaspers reeled of three straight hits. The breakthrough knock came when Joe McClennan (Highland N.Y./Cornwall) laced a double down the left line, scoring both Slattery and Christian Santisteban (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) to take a 3-2 lead. Junior closer Jacob Marchus (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) pitched a scoreless ninth, earning his third save of the season.
Soldinger pitched six innings of one-run ball, allowing just two hits while walking five and striking out five in a no-decision. Scarinci (2-2) got the win allowing one run on three hits in two innings of work. Meanwhile, relief pitcher Kevin McCarthy (2-2) took the loss for Marist after giving up two runs on three hits in just one inning after Bielak gave up only one run in seven innings of work.
The nightcap was decidedly different as the Red Foxes scored in all but one of the games’ seven innings. It began in the top of the first when Nick McQuail placed a perfect bunt in front of the mound scoring Pagano. They would later tack on five more in the top of the second against Jaspers starter Michael Martin (Massapequa, N.Y./Chaminade). After getting the first two batters of the inning, Martin allowed the next five batters to reach including a bases clearing double to Shank. That would spell the end of his outing as he was relieved by Sean Abbate (Levittown, N.Y./Division Avenue) after giving up six runs on four hits in one and two-thirds innings.
Abbate would allow one inherited runner to score before striking out Zach Passerelle to end the inning. The sophomore would have his own struggles though, loading the bases in the top of the third. A sacrifice fly to right off the bat of Pagano made it 7-0 Marist with two outs. Upon issuing a walk to Mike Orefice to load the bases again, Abbate was pulled in favor of Chris Liquori (Wyckoff, N.J./Ramapo) who retired the next batter.
The Red Foxes would go on to add another run in the fourth, six in the fifth and one more in seventh. Meanwhile, starting pitcher Brett Houseal was shutting down the Jasper hitters. Through the first three innings, the righty gave up just two base hits only allowing one runner to reach second base.
Manhattan’s lone run came in the bottom of the fourth when Ortega singled to center in front of a Slattery double, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Andrew Gorecki (Smithtown, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) hit a hard ground ball to the first base side where Orefice made a diving play, holding the Jaspers to just one run. Houseal then retired the next two in order to thwart any threat of a comeback.
Houseal (5-3) tossed a complete seven innings in game two, scattering six hits while allowing the one run. He also struck out three batters for Marist. Martin (0-3) was saddled with the loss allowing six runs on four hits while walking three batters. A total of six different pitchers were used in the game as they issued a combined 11 walks. The Red Foxes out-hit Manhattan 12-6 in the nightcap, becoming the first road team to win at Van Cortlandt Park in almost two years.
Manhattan and Marist will conclude their series on Sun., April 7 with one game beginning at 12 p.m. at Van Cortlandt Park.