Pitching Dominates in Doubleheader Sweep
RIVERDALE, N.Y. – During their conference bye weekend, the Manhattan baseball team took on Lafayette in a doubleheader at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday afternoon. The Jaspers (21-24) got a strong pitching performance from John Soldinger in a 3-2 game one victory before a 3-0 win in the nightcap. Both games featured complete game efforts from Manhattan’s starters.
The Leopards (9-40) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Andrew Santomauro and Kevin Casey had back-to-back hits putting runners at second and third with nobody out. After getting a fly-out from Andrew Ruck, Scott Kelleher singled home Santomauro before Parker Hills grounded out to third, plating another run.
Manhattan would respond in the home half however as Nick Camastro doubled to center to start the inning. He later advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Andrew Gorecki before crossing home on an RBI ground out off the bat of Kyle Murphy to put the Jaspers on the board. That would be all they could muster however as both pitchers started to settle in after the second.
Soldinger worked in and out of trouble throughout the game as Lafayette put multiple runners on-base in three separate innings. The biggest threat of the day came in the top of the seventh when Jackson Kramer reached second on a single and an error by the right fielder Gorecki. He however would be stranded at third after Santomauro singled and stole second to put two in scoring position with one out.
Meanwhile, Connor Ortolf was able to strand the tying runner at third in three separate innings. Joe McClennan worked a one out walk in the third but was left 90 feet away before the Jaspers stranded Camastro at third in the fourth and left Murphy there in the bottom of the sixth.
They would finally break through in the seventh though after Vin Teixeira singled with one out and advanced to second on a fielding error by the left fielder. Yoandry Galan was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second before Joe Rock flew out to center for the second out. Camastro would work a walk then to load up the bases in front of Gorecki. The junior then ripped a single through the right side, scoring two to put the Jaspers up 3-2 heading into the eighth.
A 1-2-3 inning by Soldinger kept Manhattan ahead by one heading to the ninth. He also started the ninth with a strikeout of Thomas Dunleavy before walking James McCool with one out. After a strikeout of Jackson Kramer to put the Leopards down to their final out, Santomauro singled to center off the glove of Camastro. As the ball trickled into shallow left center, McCool tried to score from first but Rock was able to throw him out at the plate to end the game.
Soldinger (4-3) picked up the win going the complete game striking out seven while scattering nine hits. Ortolf (1-5) took the loss for the Leopards giving up three runs on five hits and four walks in seven innings of work.
Another complete game effort would highlight the night cap as Jacob Marchus baffled Lafayette hitters in the seven inning affair. However, unlike his teammate in came one, he would not allow the Leopards to sniff the scoreboard.
Marchus set down the side in order in the top of the first before issuing a two out walk in the second. Brad Hopek would be thrown out trying to steal second by Brendan Slattery to end the inning. He also had a perfect inning in the third and fourth, facing the minimum 12 batters.
His offense would stake him a 3-0 lead after those four innings, pushing two runs across in the third off Leopards starter Toby Schwartz. Rock reached on a fielding error by McCool to begin the inning before Chris Reynolds singled to put runners on the corners with two outs. Two batters later, Ramon Ortega hit a two out single that brought home both runners for the 2-0 advantage. Manhattan added a third run in the fourth as Camastro singled home Matt Troisi with one out.
That would be more than enough insurance needed for Marchus as he carried a no-hitter into the fifth. After striking out Kelleher to begin the frame, the righty gave up a double to left to Hills ending the bid. He did regroup though and struck out two of the next three batters to retire the side and keep the Leopards off the board.
Andrew Landolfi pinch-hit to begin the sixth inning and singled for Lafayette but Marchus set down the next six in order to preserve the shutout win. Marchus (4-2) got the win allowing just two hits and two walks in his seven frames while also striking out seven. Meanwhile, Schwartz (2-8) took the loss giving up three unearned runs on nine hits in four and two-thirds innings. The two teams conclude their three-game series on Sunday as the Jaspers travel to Easton, Pa. for a noon start.
In the two combined games, Camastro picked up three hits giving him 216 for his career. That number ties both John Fitzpatrick (2003-06) and Austin Sheffield (2008-11) for sixth in Manhattan program history. Ortega also crept into the top-10 with three hits in game two. He currently sits at 208, 10th all-time and is four hits away from tying current assistant coach Nick Derba (2004-07).