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Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 03/27/2007
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Riverdale, N.Y. (March 27, 2007)- Manhattan scored nine runs over the final three innings of play to blow open a close game, as the Jaspers downed Long Island University, 13-6, this afternoon on a picturesque day at Van Cortlandt Park.  With the win, their fourth in a row, the Jaspers improve to 8-10, while the Blackbirds fall to 3-10.


Long Island took advantage of two Manhattan errors to push across two unearned runs in the first inning and a half, but the Jaspers would respond with a four run bottom of the second.


Matt Rizzotti started things off with a leadoff home run to right center, and, after an out, two walks put runners on first and second for Rene Ruiz.  Ruiz laced a single to right, scoring Marc Giordano, before two consecutive balks plated Ruben Perez and Ruiz to make the score 4-0 in favor of the home team.


The Blackbirds would rally in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs on four hits, and chasing Jasper starter Mike Gazzola.  Brian Pendergast would enter the game in relief with two on and two out, but would end the threat with a groundout.


Manhattan would regain the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs.  Mike Garcia led off the inning with a double, and came home on a Rizzotti single in the ensuing at bat.  After two outs, Perez kept the rally alive with a single, and Ruiz plated Rizzotti with another opposite field single.  After a walk and an RBI fielder’s choice, the Jaspers would take advantage of another Blackbird balk to plate the fourth run of the inning, giving the Jaspers an 8-6 lead.


Back-to-back round trippers by Garcia and Rizzotti to lead off the seventh made the score 10-6, and a Nick Derba home run and a Dom Lombardi two-RBI double in the eighth would provide the final margin.


After shutting down the LIU rally in the fourth, Pendergast would cruise the rest of the way, allowing just one single and just one runner to advance into scoring position to earn his second win of the season.


Rizzotti, who has belted four home runs in the last four games, went 3-4 with three RBI and three runs scored, and Garcia (3-5, 3 runs, 1 RBI), Perez (2-3, 2 runs), and Ruiz (2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI) would join him with multi-hit games, as Manhattan collected a season-high 15 hits on the day.


The Jaspers return to action tomorrow, Wednesday, March 28, hosting New York Institute of Technology at Van Cortlandt Park.  The first pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m.

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