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Jaspers down Local BIG EAST Rival

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 03/18/2009
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Junior co-captain Kevin Nieto scores three runs and records 12th triple of his collegiate career
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RIVERDALE, N.Y. Manhattan snapped Seton Hall’s (8-6) five game win streak on Wednesday as the Jaspers rolled to an 11-4 victory on Owen T Carroll Field in South Orange, N.J. Manhattan utilized seven pitchers, including a solid start from freshman Mike Giordano who earned the first win of his collegiate career.


Manhattan (6-6) scored six unanswered runs by the top of the fourth inning, and never looked back. Sophomores Mike McCann, Mark Onorati, Chad Salem, junior Anthony Armenio and senior co-captain Ruben Perez each contributed two RBI to the high scoring affair.


Junior centerfielder Kevin Nieto got the Jaspers out of the gate with a triple to lead off the game, marking the 12th of his career. McCann drove Nieto across the plate in the next at bat to give Manhattan a one run edge.


Nieto scored three runs batting in the lead off spot, while McCann registered two hits in the contest.


Manhattan tacked on three more runs in the third inning beginning with Onorati’s sacrifice fly ball which allowed senior shortstop Ryan Masters to cross the plate. Masters reached base on a lead off double. He also scored three runs in the ballgame.


Nieto crossed the plate later in the inning on a Seton Hall fielding error, and Perez then capped the mini surge with a RBI single. Then in the fourth, McCann and Onorati delivered back-to-back RBI singles to extend the Jaspers advantage to 6-0.


Freshmen Mike Giordano and Matt Jordan pitched strong holding the Pirates scoreless through the first four innings. Giordano, a right hander from Bedford, N.Y., made the first start of his career, went three innings and struck out two. Jordan allowed just one hit in an inning of work.


Seton Hall captured its first three runs of the contest in the fifth inning, breaking the ice when sophomore shortstop A.J. Rusbarsky crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Frank Esposito and Charlie Rivera were responsible for the next two RBI before sophomore right hander Mike Tibbetts could get the Jaspers out of the inning.


The Pirates pulled within 6-4 in the sixth on designated hitter Chris Affinito’s RBI single through the left side.


Manhattan responded with a five runs in the top of the eighth to break open the contest. Salem’s single and Armenio’s double were both good for two runs apiece, and Perez capped the inning with an RBI double.


Jasper relievers Matt Troisi, Zac Goyer and Tom Moran dominated the final three innings to close out the game. The trio allowed just one hit and retired the final seven batters.


The victory marks the program’s first over a BIG EAST opponent since May 14, 2002 when Manhattan defeated St. John’s 10-9.


Manhattan returns to action on Saturday for a doubleheader at Saint Peter’s beginning at noon.


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