The College of Staten Island men’s baseball squad used a late tally in the ninth inning to go-ahead, then made the defensive play at the end to seal it, taking a thrilling, 6-5, win over St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn) as part of non-conference action at MCU Ballpark in Brooklyn, NY. Having split an earlier doubleheader at CSI, the Dolphins have taken the season series from the Bears two games to one. After the result both teams steadied to 11-8 overall on the season.
The back-and-forth affair was great from the get-go as both teams fought hard for early runs. The Dolphins signaled first, touching SJC starter Donny Pagano for a run in the first and two more in the second inning to open up an early, 3-0, lead. Phil Ciprello streaked in via a Joe Palmeri single in the first and then two Bears’ errors with two outs in the second led to the other pair of runs, aided by Nick Delprete and Will DiFede RBI-singles.
St. Joseph’s got even and then some in their turn of the second. The Bears blasted CSI starter John Baggs for four runs on five hits in the frame, getting RBI singles from Domenick Camerada, Francis Rapp, Anthony DeFillippo, and a sac fly from Thomas McKenna. At the end of two complete innings, SJC held a 4-3 lead.
After a scoreless third, CSI added single digits in the fourth and fifth innings to grab back the lead. A Delprete single scored Tilson Brito to tie the game in the fourth, while Palmeri was ushered in due to a wild pitch from SJC reliever Anthony Van Sise after earning on via a single of his own.
CSI’s lead, again, didn’t last too long. With reliever John Pignatelli relieving Baggs, SJC got on the board with a Joe Mendez RBI-double to plate Mike Cundari, who singled earlier. Pignatelli would settle and get out of the inning, and then would throw another two innings before giving way to Jason Failla, who kept SJC off of the scorebaord in the eighth. Going into the final inning, the score was still knotted at 5-5.
Then the CSI fireworks were set off.
In the top half of the frame, Ciprello hit a one-out single to earn on off of SJC tosser Brian Luebcke. After Luebcke struck out Chris Ramanauskas there were two outs with Palmeri stepping up to bat. With the outfield playing plenty deep, Palmeri hit a towering ball that dropped into centerfield. Because Ciprello took off from first base on contact, the sophomore was able to come all the way around to score, giving CSI the go-ahead run.
SJC had room for one more comeback in their ninth inning. Failla threw two balls before giving way to Anthony Storz, who got DeFillippo to fly out. Storz then walked McKenna and yielded a single to Cundari. Storz settled to strike out Mendez and the up stepped Chris Cutrone. With two outs and the runners breaking upon contact, Cutrone hit a sharp ground ball to second base. In an unbelievable diving play, CSI’s Delprete spread across his body to catch up to the ball and from his knees delivered a laser to nail Cutrone out at first ending the game. Had Delprete not made the play, chances were good the Bears would have plated both the tying and winning runs.
Both teams spread out 12 hits in the exciting affair and used a total of eight pitchers. Failla took the win for the Dolphins with Storz earning his third save. Luebcke took the loss for the Bears. Palmeri went 4-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
CSI is now idle until the weekend. They will host John Jay College on Saturday at 12 Noon for a doubleheader, and will then welcome in St. John Fisher for a Sunday doubleheader, also at 12 Noon.