On a day when the College of Staten Island men’s baseball squad celebrated Senior Day, the Dolphins allowed a season-high in hits and runs, suffering a staggering, 22-10, defeat at the hands of visiting New Jersey City University at the Tomas D. Morales Field in Staten Island. The Dolphins, who have lost two in a row, fell to 21-12, while NJCU, who’s Michael Martucci set the all-time career hit total in his school’s history, finishing with five overall, improved to 15-20.
Prior to first pitch the Dolphins honored senior pitching duo Robert Jannace and Anthony Storz. Jannace got the start for the Dolphins, but did not last long, as he was touched for four runs in the first inning, powered by five NJCU hits, that included four doubles. Alex Weinstein smacked a two-run double in the assault before CSI got out of the inning, aided by a NJCU failed steal attempt.
CSI pushed across a run in their turn of the first, when Eli Rodriguez came in on a Glenn Glennerster fielder’s choice. Then the Gothic Knights erupted, scoring 9 runs in the second stanza on eight hits, aided along by a CSI error. Dmitri Rueger started it all with a triple that plated Nick Ruscingno. That chased Jannace in favor of Josh Bernstein, but CSI continued to struggle. Bernstein got Andrew Niech to promptly strike out but a passed ball kept Niech alive at first base. One batter later, Martucci stroked a double to right field just over Frank Smith’s glove in right on a play where the freshman may have misread the play. Weinstein would then add another two-RBI hit and after a pair of walks issued by Bernstein, and the hit parade continued with RBI singles by Chris Stevenson, Ruscingno, and Rueger. CSI escaped the inning, but not before the score was 13-1 in favor of NJCU.
CSI skipper Michael Mauro had seen enough, and promptly substituted out his entire starting rotation minus centerfielder Bobby Drake. To add injury to insult, however, Drake was plunked by NJCU starter Jason Szurlej to start the second inning and would not return. Szurlej did not last long after that, as Greg Manassa and Francis Munoz posted back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 13-4. One at-bat later, Tom Colaiacovo came in to relieve Szurlej. NJCU would get out of the jam, but not before CSI made it 13-5 on a Chris Moran sac fly.
NJCU kept coming, adding five more runs in the third, all with two outs in the inning. A CSI two-out error allowed the inning to continue. Niech doubled in a pair of runs, and Martucci added an RBI triple in the frame, boosting the cushion to 18-5. After NJCU added a digit in the fourth to make it 19-5, the Dolphins then responded with a four-run fourth to make it 19-9. Phil Ciprello smashed an RBI-single down the third base line to plate Munoz, and Allen Smieya then doubled in Ciprello, part of a six-hit inning for the Dolphins.
Things settled from there with NJCU’s Joe Stone tossing a final 5.1 innings of solid baseball, allowing only a pair of hits and an earned run, which came in the fifth to make it 19-10. NJCU plated a pair of runs in the sixth off of CSI reliever Matt Borik and they added another in the eighth, fittingly on a Martucci single, his fifth hit of the game and the 197th of his career, a new NJCU record. Martucci would finish 5-7 with two RBI and two runs scored, a home run shy of the cycle.
NJCU out-hit CSI 30-13, and the 30 hits were the most allowed by CSI in their single-game history, besting the former mark of 28 set by William Paterson University in 1995. The combined 32 runs scored in the game were the most since CSI and Manhattanville College combined for 34 in 2013 (CSI won, 21-13). NJCU leads the all-time series vs. CSI, 22-17. The 22 Knights runs today were the most ever by a team in the all-time series and the 32 total runs scored makes it the highest scoring game in the series history, which dates back to 1978.
Munoz, Smieya, and Moran all finished with two hits apiece for the Dolphins.
CSI next will take on Salisbury University for a doubleheader on Saturday, May 2, beginning at 12 Noon.