The College of Staten Island men’s baseball squad ended their 2013 season on a good note, coming from behind to score a late-inning, 5-4, victory over Farmingdale State College in a single non-conference contest played under the lights at the Tomas D. Morales Baseball Field. CSI improved to 27-11 overall, while the Rams fell to 25-11.
The Dolphins fell behind twice in the game. CSI starter John Baggs let up a lone run in the top of the first inning as the Rams went ahead early, 1-0. David Zilnicki doubled to start the frame, and after advancing to third via a sacrifice, he was plated by an Anthony Alvino sac fly. FSC starter Kevin Martinez breezed through the bottom of the first, but CSI was able to strike in the second frame, overtaking the lead.
Robert Bernardo started a great evening at the dish with a single in the inning, and advanced to second base on a Baggs base hit. Both runners advanced a base on a Martinez balk, and one out later, freshman Phil Ciprello laced a two-RBI single to left field to help CSI to the 2-1 advantage. The Rams, however, were unfazed, and at the top of the third inning, led another scoring change when a Zilnicki two-RBI double gave the visitors a 3-2 lead. Baggs was able to weave out of trouble from there, but the CSI bats couldn’t muster offense in the third or fourth frames and CSI went into the fifth inning with the score still 3-2.
There, FSC tallied their final run of the game. With runners at second and third with one out, Daniel Paccione hit a sac fly to score Zilnicki. That spelled the end for Baggs, who gave way to John Pignatelli, who faced one batter and got the Dolphins out of the frame. FSC reliever Tim Trimarchi got the Rams through a scoreless fifth, but in the sixth the Dolphins had other plans. With one out, Will DiFede hit a triple. Then the Dolphins caught a break when Bernardo, who struck out, was able to take first base on the wild pitch that got away from FSC catcher Eric Wiener, which also brought in DiFede to make it 4-3. FSC then lifted Trimarchi in favor or Kevin Cashman, who delivered another errant pitch that moved Bernardo to second base. After a Baggs single put runners on the corners, yet another wild pitch scored Bernardo, knotting the score at 4-4.
CSI would score the game-winner in the seventh, but not without controversy. Bryan Moreno was walked by Cashman, who was promptly lifted for Matthew Fick. Fick walked Joseph Palmeri. With one out, Chris Ramanauskas was the batter, and the junior ripped a ball to deep left center. The shot was enough to score Moreno from first and Palmeri from second but Ramanauskas was tagged out at third trying to extend his double. Then, with CSI up 6-4 and two out, an appeal was made at third base, and it was ruled that Palmeri did not touch third base coming around to score, and so a run was removed from the score and CSI was out of the inning.
The extra insurance was not needed, as CSI reliever Mike Fitzpatrick, who was the pitcher of record having gone 3.0 innings of relief, was able to get CSI out of the eighth inning, and then senior Richard Anderson closed the door in the ninth, allowing only a single base runner via an error before striking out Ron Remi to end the game, 5-4.
FSC out-hit CSI, 11-9, with Zilnicki as the offensive catalyst, going 3-4 with two runs scored. Bernardo also went 3-4 but was on base all four times, adding two runs.
The win for CSI was their 27th of the season, the third-most ever by a CSI squad in a single season. The Dolphins won 31 games in 2010, and 29 games in both 1991 & 1992, the only two years that the Dolphins went to the NCAA Division III National Tournament.
CSI’s next contest will be on Monday, May 6, as part of the CUNYAC Tournament. CSI has earned the No. 1 seed in the tourney and will play either John Jay College or City College of New York in the first round of the double elimination tournament which will be held at MCU Ballpark in Brooklyn, NY, at 1pm.