WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Manhattanville baseball team scored three times in the top of the seventh inning to defeat the King's (Pa.) Monarchs by the score of 3-2 in their conference opener of the 2012 schedule. Freshman Kevin Brady (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep) had the big hit of the inning to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
In game two, senior Dan Fiorito (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep) went 4-for-4 and junior Sean Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y./Xavier) had three RBIs as the Valiants were able to hang on for an 11-9 win after a late seventh inning rally by King's nearly cost Manhattanville the game.
In the opener, both the Valiants and the Monarchs had a runner reach in the first inning but neither side was able to manufacture a run. Manhattanville got a runner to second base in the top of the second after junior John Bucci (Port Chester, N.Y./Port Chester) stole second base. Sophomore Alex Basso (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) retired the side in order in the bottom of the second.
The teams struggled to string together hits until the bottom half of the fifth inning when the Monarchs when shortstop Rob Lemonelli hit an RBI single up the middle to score the game's first run. King's scored once more in the bottom of the sixth looking to polish off the Valiants in the top of the seventh in game one of the doubleheader.
In the top of the frame Bucci doubled, while the next two batters caused outs. Sophomore Elias Tsouristakis (New Rochelle, N.Y./Fordham Prep) walked, followed by an infield single off the bat of junior Matt Petrunti (East Granby, Conn./Loomis-Chaffee) to load the bases. All three batters moved up after a wild pitch from pitcher Joe Dorbad to cut the lead in half. Up came Brady who singled up the middle to chase home the two runners on base to give the Valiants their first lead of the game.
Basso hit the first batter in the bottom of the seventh but got the next three batters to clinch the win for Manhattanville. Taking the loss for King's was Dorbad who pitched the complete game while allowing the three Valiant runs on six hits, he also walked three and struck out 11 Manhattanville batters.
In game two, the Valiants sent freshman Michael Lyon (North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon) to the bump while the Monarchs countered with Pat Mathews. Both pitchers made their way through the first two innings unscathed but each allowed a run in the third inning sending it to the top of the fourth tied at one.
In the top of the fourth sophomore Hans Arias (Bronx, N.Y./St. Raymond's) got things started with a leadoff triple, that Petrunti followed up with an infield single to chase home Arias to give the Valiants the lead back. Brady reached on an error and senior Dan Fiorito (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep) singled up the middle to load the bases with nobody out. Two batters later junior Sean Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y./Xavier) hit a sac fly, followed by a Bucci single to bring around two more runs. Junior Johnny LoVetere (Southbury, Conn./Canterbury) capped off the five-run inning with a single to left field.
The Valiants started things off in the fifth the same way they did in the fourth as Arias hit a leadoff triple, and Petrunti followed up with a single to bring him home. Brady advanced Petrunti to second on a bunt which was followed up by senior Dan Fiorito (Yonkers, N.Y./Fordham Prep) singling through the left side to put runners on the corners with one out. Senior Chris Nardozzi (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) doubled to score Petrunti and junior Sean Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y./Xavier) followed up with a sac fly to bring home Fiorito to expand the lead to 10-2.
The Monarchs answered back with one more run in the sixth to cut it to 10-3, but Manhattanville got one more on the board after freshman Nick Euvino (Elmsford, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) tripled and was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Fiorito. With the lead comfortably at 11-4, the Valiants sent junior Don Fisher (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) back to the hill to finish the game off after allowing the lone run in the sixth.
With King's up for their last licks, Fisher put the first three runners on base. He got the next batter out on a sac fly to score a run, but then the next two batters singled and Fisher was pulled in favor of Bashir Masani (Westbury, N.Y./W.T. Clarke) who didn't have much luck either with the Monarch offense. Masani walked the first batter to bring home a run and allowed the next run to score on a fielder's choice; Fiorito committed two consecutive errors to extend the inning at which point Masani was pulled for the third pitcher of the inning freshman Joe Palmeri (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport/South Manor).
With Palmeri on the mound the Valiants committed their third straight error defensively to bring home the fifth Monarch run of the frame to made the score 11-9. But Palmeri got the next batter to fly out to preserve the win and the doubleheader sweep for the Valiants.
On the mound Lyon picked up the win for Manhattanville to improve to 3-0 on the season, Palmeri picked up his first career save retiring the last batter of the game with the tying run on second when he entered. Taking the loss was reliever Anthony Sangirardi who allowed six runs on seven hits after Mathews allowed the first four Manhattanville runs on four hits.
Manhattanville (6-2, 2-0 Freedom) and King's (4-6, 0-2 Freedom) will meet in the final game of their three-game set tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. from Manhattanville Field in Purchase, N.Y. with live stats of the game available on GoValiants.com.