Saturday, March 16, 2013

Manhattan’s Marathon Men

Jaspers Prevail in 13-Innings over Seton Hall
BRONX, NEW YORK, March 16- It took 13 innings, and nearly four and a half hours, but the Manhattan baseball team earned a 2-1 victory over Seton Hall in the first game of the “Strike Out Cancer” Tournament at Owen T. Carroll Field. Kyle Murphy’s (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) RBI single in the top of the 13th broke a 1-1 tie before Kevin Bonanni (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) set down the Pirates (3-10) in order in the bottom of the frame to seal the victory.
A pitcher’s duel throughout, the Jaspers (4-8) had to battle back after Seton Hall pushed a run across in the bottom of the third. After Zack Granite reached on a walk from Manhattan starter John Soldinger (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore), Mike Genovese singled to put two on with one out. A wild pitch would later move both runners up before Scott Kalamar hit a sacrifice fly to center for 1-0 advantage.
Both pitchers remained on their game through five innings of work with Soldinger retiring the next eight batters he faced after the run scored. Meanwhile, Seton Hall starter Josh Prevost was tossing a gem, not allowing a single hit to Manhattan in the four innings. In the fifth, however, the Jaspers would break through. With nobody on and two outs, Andrew Gorecki (Smithtown, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) was hit by a pitch and later followed by a single to left from Yoandry Galan (Miami, Fla./Florida Christian). The ball was misplayed in left field by Zack Weigel, allowing Gorecki to score from first to tie the game.
Manhattan would threaten to break the deadlock in the top of the sixth, putting two runners on with two out. Jose Lopez would then come on in relief for Seton Hall and get out of the jam. The Pirates looked to take the lead back in the home half of the frame as well. After a lead off fly out, Kalamar singled back up the middle and later advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Soldinger would get the next batter to pop out to centerfield before issuing consecutive walks, loading the bases with two outs. Michael Scarinci (Nanuet, N.Y./Pearl River) relieved the senior starter and struck out Weigel to end the inning.
Scarinci would work four scoreless innings in relief, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh inducing an inning- ending fielder’s choice after giving up back-to-back walks. Manhattan also struggled to break through, getting just one base runner combined in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.
As Seton Hall looked to walk-off in the bottom of the ninth, Scarinci retired the first two batters before letting up a single to Papaccio. After Jacob Marchus (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) came on to pitch, Papaccio stole second before a walk put the winning run in scoring position with two outs. Marchus then induced an inning-ending line drive to center, sending the game into extras.
Each squad had their chances in the extra frames. The Pirates best opportunity came in the bottom of the 10th when pinch hitter Chris Selden led off with a bunt single. As Kyle Grimm looked to sacrifice his teammate into scoring position, Murphy threw out the lead runner at second for the first out of the inning. Despite a pinch runner stealing second, Marchus retired the next two batters in order, ending the threat.Manhattan was then left with a golden opportunity in the top of the 12th, loading the bases with nobody out. Murphy began the inning by working a full-count walk before consecutive singles from Christian Santisteban (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) and a Joe McClennan (Highland Mills, N.Y./Cornwall) bunt single. But Brian Gilbert, the third pitcher of the night for Seton Hall, regained his composure and recorded back-to-back strike outs over Joe Rock (Carmel, N.Y./Kennedy Catholic) and Galan before retiring Nick Camastro (Lagrangeville, N.Y./Arlington) to get out of the jam.
Then, in the top of the 13th, Aidan John O’Leary (Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth) singled to lead things off before advancing on passed ball. After two quick outs left Manhattan with a runner in scoring position and two outs, Murphy laced a double into the right centerfield gap, scoring O’Leary and giving the Jaspers a 2-1 lead.
Bonanni, who pitched a scoreless 12th, set the Pirates down in order in the 13th securing the win. For Bonanni (1-0) it was his first decision of the year after four relief appearances. Soldinger finished the day tossing five and two-thirds allowing just one run on three hits, walking three and striking out three. Gilbert (0-3) took the loss for Seton Hall allowing four hits in his three innings of relief.
Manhattan continues their play in the “Strike Out Cancer” Tournament on Sat., March 16 with a double header. The Jaspers will take on Massachusetts at 12 p.m. before again facing off with Seton Hall at 3 p.m. in South Orange, N.J.

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