10-Run Second Inning Propels Baseball Past Eastern, 13-5

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PURCHASE, N.Y. – The Manhattanville baseball team used a 10 run second inning to blow past the Eastern Eagles on Friday afternoon by the score of 13-5. The Valiants got strong starting pitching out of sophomore Alex Basso (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) who allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings work while striking out a season-high eight. Classmate David Jones (Lanesboro, Mass./Mt. Greylock) pitched the remainder of the game allowing a run on two hits.
At the plate the Valiants had several highlights including a three run homerun off the bat of senior Dan Fiorito (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep). Meanwhile, junior Johnny LoVetere (Southbury, Conn./Canterbury) went 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot, while classmate Sean Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y./Xavier) led the team with four RBI while going 1-for-4 at the plate. Senior Chris Nardozzi (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) and junior John Bucci (Port Chester, N.Y./Port Chester) also collected three hits apiece in the lopsided victory.
Eastern got on the board first with a two out walk, followed by an RBI double off the bat of Greg DeSarro to put the Eagles up 1-0. In the bottom of the first, Manhattanville took their first lead of the game with a three run rally as LoVetere got things started with a single, followed by a Fiorito walk. Nardozzi brought home the pair with a double down the leftfield line and later came around himself as sophomore Elias Tsouristakis (New Rochelle, N.Y./Fordham Prep) hit a ball that was booted by the Eastern second baseman.
Devon Ziegenfuss led things off in the top of the second by getting plunked by a pitch; he then stole second two batters later with Brendan Spall at the plate, Spall then followed up with an RBI single to trim the lead back to 3-2.
Then in the bottom of the second, the flood gates opened for the Manhattanville offense as they touched up Eastern ace Nick Moeltner for eight more runs. LoVetere got things started again with a single followed by Fiorito getting hit by a pitch, Nardozzi then reached on an infield single to load the bases. Ferguson was the next batter and hit a ball that was a few feet shy of clearing the leftfield wall for a grand slam, but turned out to be a bases loaded triple for the junior.
Freshman Kevin Brady (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep) got in on the action with a single to third base to chase home Ferguson and increase the lead to 7-2. Bucci was up next and also hit an infield single, followed by Brady and Bucci completing a double steal to advance to second and third with still no one out. Tsouristakis was up next and hit a rock of a shot down the left field line that was pushed out of play for a ground-rule double to bring home the pair. Freshman Bobby Guerra (Bronx, N.Y./Arlington) then singled to put runners at the corners, which also chased Moeltner from the game.
The next pitcher was Greg Lukasik who got the first out of the inning in just two pitches. LoVetere who was looking to play for the suicide squeeze play ended up getting a base hit as the Eagle third baseman threw home while Bucci slid under the tag, on the throw to the plate Guerra quickly scampered to third on the head's up play. With runners on the corners and one down, Fiorito came up for the second time in the inning and cleared the bases on the second pitch with his eighth home run of the season that cleared the leftfield wall to cap off the ten run inning for the Valiants.
Both sides went down quietly in the third and fourth innings as Basso and Lukasik exchanged zeroes. Eastern chipped away with a solo homerun in the top of the fifth as Scott Renauro hit one over the left centerfield fence. The Eagles got another run in the sixth on three singles to make the game 13-4.
Basso continued to roll along into the seventh inning as did new Eagles pitcher Barry Jost who came on to start the top of the fourth. Basso got the first two batters of the seventh while reaching his limit for the afternoon and making way for Jones who needed three pitches to get the third out of the frame.
In the top of the eighth Jones allowed the final Eagle run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield before getting Spall to groundout for the final out of the inning. Several reserve players tried to start a rally of their own in the bottom of the eighth for the Valiants as freshman Jeff Moskowitz (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) hit a one out single deep in the hole at shortstop, and pinch runner Raul Rodriguez (Bronx, N.Y./DeWitt Clinton) stole second. The Valiants were unable to bring home the junior and headed to the ninth up by a 13-5 margin.
Jones got the Eagles to go down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to cap off a successful series opening win in the key matchup this weekend with Eastern. Earning the win on the mound was Basso (3-3) who pitched into the seventh inning for the fifth time this season. Taking the loss was Moeltner (4-5) who struggled allowing 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits in one plus inning of work.
Manhattanville (13-15, 7-9 Freedom) and Eastern (19-13, 7-9 Freedom) will continue their three game series with a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon in St. Davids, Pa. First pitch time has moved up to 12:00 p.m. due to possible rain showers later in the afternoon.