Flashback Friday looks at the top moments from the 2015-16 athletic year at the College of Staten Island.  We roll into July with the No. 9 top moment, CSI Baseball’s overpowering, 13-5, victory that capped their CUNYAC Championship run, giving the team a bacl-to-back title and their 18th overall.

#9 – Baseball secures back-to-back championship
Date:  May 8, 2016
Who:  CSI Men’s Baseball Team
Where: CSI Baseball Complex – Staten Island, NY
What Happened:  CSI entered the 2016 baseball season looking to defend their title, and the team seemed primed to do so after a stellar regular season that saw them sport an 11-1 overall record.  The championship run took on a greater focus as CSI was selected to host the CUNYAC Championship alongside softball a few yards away.  The Dolphins would be tested, going up against Baruch College, the only CUNYAC team to beat the Dolphins during the season and the same team that CSI needed a feverish comeback to beat the day prior in extra innings.  Like a day prior, the Dolphins found themselves down early, 1-0, but this time, after tying the game in the third, CSI used a two-RBI double by Glenn Glennerster in the fourth to take the lead, 3-1, extending to 5-1 by the end of the frame.  The Bearcats clawed back to make it 5-4 in the fifth, but CSI kept firing away, as Bobby Drake singled in a run and senior Joe Palmeri added two sac flies to extend the lead to 9-4.  CSI added a four-run punctuation mark in the eighth inning, and shortly after CSI Softball wrapped up their championship, CSI reliever Peter Bellina retired the Bearcats in the 9th frame to secure the win for Ryan Kennedy and lifting CSI to the 13-5 win.  For his efforts throughout the weekend, CUNYAC All-Star and former Rookie of the Year Glenn Glennerster walked away with Tournament MVP honors.  CSI finished their season 26-13.

5236Q&A…with Glenn Glennerster
Going into the tournament you guys were definitely heralded as the favorite in the CUNYAC and in the Tournament.  Is that a negative or a positive going in to the tournament?  That is definitely a positive. All the other teams know that we were the favorites and that is what makes them want to beat us even more. We know of this heading in and it allows us to not only play our best but with confidence.

It seems like the other CUNYAC teams save their best for last and every game against CSI is a big one for them.  As a team, how do you prepare to see another team’s top pitcher or best effort going in? After two full years playing for CSI, I have realized how badly the other CUNYAC teams want to beat us. We always go out there and face their top pitchers. I personally love going against their best. One of my favorite things that Coach Mauro always tells us is to “make every swing count” and to “never take a pitch off.” Before I step in the batters box I always tell myself to make this at bat count. You never want to waste an at bat, especially against a teams top pitcher and that is what Coach Mauro is trying to emphasize.  As a hitter you only have 3 or 4 chances a game to produce for your team so you want to make every at bat count.

After a tough game against Lehman, you guys pulled off another tremendous come-from-behind win against Baruch on the second day, how does the team manage to stay calm and collected during those tough moments?  Especially after the comeback in the championship against Baruch last year I feel like our confidence is always high. No deficit is too much for us to come back from.  Right before that last inning, we huddled outside the dugout and  said to each other, hey, we have been here before. It is great to be on a team with a bunch of guys that never give up and always keep battling. ???????

After you win a game like that, emotions have to be flying high.  You were a part of that comeback, how did you and the team feel after a win like that?  A walk-off win in the playoffs against probably your biggest rival in the conference absolutely has your emotions flying high.  It was such an incredible comeback and in the moment I just couldn’t believe what just happened. As a team we went back into our clubhouse and felt as if no one could beat us.

The next day you put away Baruch to secure the title.  You again had to rally in the early innings before putting a lot of runs on the board.  What is it that this team did so well this season that got you guys to the top again?  Our pitching staff did such a great job all year of keeping us in ball games. As hitters, we always try to score a run an inning. In the tournament we were able to do that plenty of times, I think that is what really helped us repeat this year by just playing our game.

After a CUNYAC Rookie of the Year performance last year, you were named a 1st team all-star and won Tournament MVP, how great of an honor is that knowing that you play on such a talented team?  It was such an honor to earn Tournament MVP. To be honest, I really was not expecting my name to be called because so many of my teammates had also played real well. After the past two seasons, the tournament MVP is the honor I take most pride in. As a player you always want to produce to help your team win in playoff games and I was fortunate enough to do so in this years tournament.  

You guys graduated seven seniors this year from the program but you do have some youth coming back.  How is the team planning to stay at the top of the table and continue this recent rash of success?   The loss of the seniors from this years team is a really sad topic for me. These were the guys who took me under their wings as a freshman and helped me get acclimated to the program. Without these guys next year its definitely going to have a different feel at first but we have such a great group of youth coming back. We plan on to keep playing our game and to continue this programs success that the seniors are leaving behind. 

Other Highlights
CUNYAC News Story
CSI Feature Story
Game Boxscore
Staten Island Advance Article
CUNYAC Championship Photo Gallery
CSI Photo Gallery

Joe Palmeri added two hits 
and two RBI.

Coach Mike Mauro and AD
Charles Gomes get dunked.

The team celebrates their
championship win.