STOCKTON STRIKES DOWN CSI IN ECAC METRO SEMIFINAL, 4-1

Richard Stockton College used a quick start and the stellar pitching of Adam Warburton, to take a 4-1 win over the College of Staten Island in the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Semifinal round in a game played earlier this afternoon at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark, New Jersey.  The win for Richard Stockton, the No. 6 team in the tourney, lifts the Ospreys to 21-17 overall, advancing them to the Final tomorrow afternoon at 1pm against top-seeded Rutgers-Newark, meanwhile the Dolphins see their season finalized at 23-19.

In a game featuring two extraordinary pitchers, it was hitting that took center stage right out of the gate, as both teams tallied a digit in the opening stanza.  RSC plated a run in their top half off of CSI ace Pat Gale, touching the southpaw on a Mike Wasco single that plated Jason Gordon, who led off with a double down the left field line.  Still, Gale worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam, getting Barry Larro to fly out to end the threat.

An almost carbon copy unfolded in the bottom half of the frame as CSI took to the dish against Warburton.  With the bases load thanks to singles by Mark Glennerster and Joey Falcone and a walk to Gale, freshman Matthew Morales stroked an RBI-single to plate Glennerster.  The Ospreys benefitted on the play, getting Gale out at second when the senior had to retreat that way due to Falcone not being sent home, creating a logjam at third base.  The mistake proved costly, as Walburton subsequently walked Henry Roman to load the bases, but got Joseph Cassano to harmlessly ground out to end the inning with the score locked at 1-1.

The Ospreys wasted no time garnering back the lead, knocking on Gale’s pitching again in the second inning.  Nick Scalise began the frame with a base hit and upon being sacrificed to second, the junior took third on a passed ball, then scored on Gordon’s single up the middle, giving the six-seeds a 2-1 edge.  Again, CSI got out of trouble, as Gale induced a double-play from Travis Marra to end the inning.  The Dolphins, however, would never get even, as Warburton settled down, working quickly while allowing only two hits and a pair of baserunners through five innings.

Stockton then touched Gale for a pair of runs in the sixth to cushion the lead.  A Mike Bush one-out double started the run, and Bush ran to third on a Morales error at second base, setting up Gordon at first base.  A shaken Gale then plunked Marc Asta, loading the bags for Marra.  The hot-hitting freshman then laced a sharp grounder back to the mound, and Gale managed to get a piece of the ball but the awkward trajectory send the ball passed second base, to score a pair of runs, building the Ospreys lead to 4-1.

Warburton didn’t need much more, yielding a hit in the sixth and the eighth but was never really threatened.  James Mardikos came on in relief of Gale for CSI in the seventh, and the senior looked sharp for the final three scoreless innings.  The Dolphins could not return the favor offensively, however, and down to their final out, CSI managed a base hit from Falcone before Gale grounded to shortstop to end the game.

Warburton earned the complete game win, yielding a lone earned run on seven hits, fanning five.  Gale took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on 10 hits through six frames.  At the dish, RSC’s Gordon (3-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 RS) and Dan McGuckin (4-for-5) led the way, while Falcone registered CSI’s only multi-hit game, going 2-for-5.

Richard Stockton will now meet Rutgers-Newark, a 2-0 winner over SUNY-Old Westbury, earlier in the day in the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Final tomorrow.  For CSI, it was their fourth straight loss in ECAC play spanning back to 2000, when they last won an ECAC crown.

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