PURCHASE, N.Y. – After falling behind by as many as seven runs on three separate occasions, the Manhattanville baseball team staged a pair of large rallies to send the game to extra innings. In the tenth frame King's was able to bring the go-ahead run around and defeat the Valiants by a score of 16-15.
In the game sophomore Hans Arias (Bronx, N.Y./St. Raymond's) went 4-for-5 with two RBI and three runs scored off the bench, while freshman Bobby Guerra (Bronx, N.Y./Arlington) was also 4-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI. Senior Chris Nardozzi (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham) went 2-for-6 and drove in three runs while junior Sean Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y./Xavier) brought home three runners and scored a pair himself, classmate John Bucci (Port Chester, N.Y./Port Chester) had three hits and came around to score three runs of his own in the game.
Starting on the mound for the Valiants was junior lefthander Edwin Aponte (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) who struggled to find any form of consistency after walking the first batter of the game and allowing three runs to score on a pair of hits and an error behind him. After getting the first two batters out in the second inning, Aponte allowed back-to-back doubles to allow the Monarchs' fourth run.
In the bottom of the second the Valiants got a run back after Ferguson reached on a throwing error that pulled the first baseman off the bag, Ferguson promptly stole second and scored two batters later on Guerra's double to right centerfield.
The wheels fell off entirely for Aponte in the third after the first two batters reached and the third batter moving them over on a bunt. Three of the next four batters reached via the base hit and that proved to end the day for Aponte who finished the game allowing nine runs on as many hits in just under three innings of work.
Out of the bullpen first for Manhattanville was senior Pat Yannucci (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Sewanhaka) who allowed a single to the first batter he faced, and walked the second, then allowed a double to Eric Bohem who picked up two of his team-high four RBI on the day. The Monarchs finished the inning scoring six runs on seven hits to take a 10-1 lead into the bottom of the third.
Manhattanville's offense got a little help from the spotty King's defense as freshman Nick Euvino (Elmsford, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) reached after the first baseman was pulled off the bag again. Arias came up next as a pinch hitter for freshman Kevin Brady (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Prep) and hit a long double to deep left centerfield that the fielder bobbled allowing Arias to reach third base. Fiorito reached on the third throwing error by the shortstop allowing Arias to cross the place with the Valiants' third run of the game.
The inning continued with Ferguson hitting one through the second baseman's glove after he had gone down to a knee to retrieve the ball allowing Fiorito to score. Bucci reached on a fielder's choice and classmate Johnny LoVetere (Southbury, Conn./Canterbury) singled to push Bucci to second, the two then stole second and third base respectively on a double steal followed by a Guerra walk to load the bases. King's starter Brenton Eades then threw a wild pitch that allowed Bucci to cross home plate with the Valiants' fifth run of the frame.
Both Yannucci and Eades threw scoreless fourth innings but the Monarchs rallied in the fifth for another three runs in the fifth before Yannucci could get out of it with an inning-ending double play. Guerra kept up his hot hitting and doubled home Bucci in the bottom of the fifth inning to make the game 13-7 heading to the sixth.
In the sixth King's scored two runs off of Yannucci in the top of the inning before the Valiant offense answered back with two of their own after Arias, Fiorito and Nardozzi strung together three straight hits to chase Eades from the game. Reliever Levi Tate got two of the next three batters out to end the inning.
Freshman Joe Palmeri (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport/South Manor) came on to pitch the seventh for Manhattanville and made it through unscathed after allowing a two-out single. Down by a score of 15-10, the Valiant offense huddled up with their coaching staff between innings and rallied themselves up for what proved to be a thrilling seventh inning for the crimson and white.
Guerra, sophomore Elias Tsouristakis (New Rochelle, N.Y./Fordham Prep) and Arias all reached via singles with Arias' knock bringing home Guerra. Fiorito then walked to load the bases and Nardozzi singled through the right side to score two more runners. Ferguson reached on a fielder's choice that erased Nardozzi from second base, and was followed up by a Bucci single up the middle, LoVetere walked to load the bases again bringing up Guerra who has had a flair for the dramatic in bases loaded situations this season.
In his second at-bat of the inning Guerra laced a base hit to right centerfield to bring home two more batters as the Valiants tied the score at 15 runs apiece to send the game to the top of the eighth inning.
Neither side scored in the eighth or ninth innings sending the contest to extras. In the top of the ninth, two of the first three Monarch batters got doubles to re-take the lead at 16-15. After the next batter reached, Palmeri was pulled in favor of senior A.J. Marini (Fair Lawn, N.J./Paramus Catholic) who got out of the inning.
Arias reached base with a two out walk in the bottom of the tenth inning but Fiorito was unable to bring him around, ending the game and giving King's their first conference win of the season after one weekend of play in the league.
Earning the win in relief was Ryan Gimbi (1-0) who pitched the final 3 1/3 innings while allowing only two hits, Palmeri (0-1) took the loss for Manhattanville after allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth.
Manhattanville (6-3, 2-1 Freedom) return to conference play this Friday when they travel to Swoyersville, Pa. to play host Misericordia who are displaced from Dallas while renovations are ongoing to their athletic facilities on campus. King's (5-7, 1-2 Freedom) takes on local rival Marywood at home this Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.