The College of Staten Island men’s baseball team punched a ticket to the CUNYAC Championship Final for the 15th time in the last 17 years, getting by No. 3 John Jay College play in winner’s bracket competition, 6-2, as part of the 2011 CUNYAC/Municipal Credit Union Bank Championship at MCU Ballpark in Brooklyn, New York. The win promotes CSI (22-15) to the Final against No. 2 Baruch College at 4:30pm, which defeated John Jay in the elimination game that followed, 6-1. CSI need to win just the single game today to wrap up their 15th CUNYAC crown, while the Bearcats would hope to force a winner-take-all deciding game on Tuesday.
The Dolphins took the win thanks in big part to the benefit of four unearned runs aided by four Bloodhounds errors scattered throughout the game. The Dolphins gave starter Pat Gale a 2-0 lead in the second frame thanks to two consecutive errors by Bloodhounds’ second baseman Cosme Munoz, which allowed both Joe Cassano and James Lewis to reach base after a lead-off base hit by Joey Falcone. Falcone would score on the Lewis error, and Cassano would later cross on Dan Lynch’s sac fly against Bloodhounds starter Mark Marte, who allowed just a trio of CSI hits through the first five frames.
The teams traded runs in the fourth inning. A Ryan Corrigan sac fly did the honors for JJC, scoring Dennis Lopez, who led off the inning with a walk. Another JJC error in the fourth gave James Lewis a pass to first base for CSI in the bottom of the stanza, and after the freshman was moved over to third base, a Bryan Moreno grounder brought Lewis home for a 3-1 lead.
After a quiet fifth, both teams made noise in the sixth. A Lopez base hit started the frame for JJC, and after stealing second, the shortstop was plated by a Wilmer Chavez RBI-single. Nursing just a one-run cushion, CSI gave Gale a more comfortable lead, plating another pair of runs, their first earned runs of the game. Three straight hits started the bottom half of the inning, with Lynch’s single scoring Lewis. Next up, a Moreno RBI-groundout plated Ray Gise to offer CSI a 5-2 advantage.
Allowing only a base-runner in the seventh and eighth innings, CSI added an insurance marker in their half of the eighth frame, as an RBI-fielder’s choice by Mark Glennerster plated Lynch, who singled earlier in the inning.
Down 6-2, the Bloodhounds tried to answer with a William Moran single and a walk issued to Bobby Villante with one out in the ninth inning, but CSI responded by nailing Moran out at third base one batter late, and Gale got Corey Harper to harmlessly fly out to end the game.
For Gale, the senior got the win allowing just two earned runs on five hits, fanning eight. Marte look the loss, allowing six runs (two earned) on seven hits, striking out a pair. Lynch recorded CSI’s only multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 at the dish with a pair of RBI and a run plate, earning a stolen base as well.
CSI will now face Baruch College in the Final in a rematch of last year’s title game. CSI split the season series against Baruch College this season at one game apiece.