GAME VIDEO – The College of Staten Island baseball squad came-from-behind to stage a walk-off win to complete a three-game set with visiting John Jay College, 4-3, at the CSI Baseball Complex.  After splitting the doubleheader yesterday, CSI took the rubber game in dramatic fashion without the benefits of a hit, improving to 8-6-1 overall while the Bloodhounds fell to 4-11.

For a defensive game that featured clutch pitching and timely fielding, the game started with a bang as both teams scored a pair of runs in the game’s first inning.  In the top half, CSI starter James Taunton started the day with two quick strikeouts, but then yielded a walk, and Dylan Laudano followed with a blast that cleared the left field wall for a two-run homerun, opening the scoring.  CSI answered back against JJC starter Jared Hershfield.  After two walks, Nick Meola ripped a RBI-single to score Frank Sconzo, and another run came home when Glenn Glennerster knocked into a double play, scoring Bobby Drake from third base.  

The starters settled from there.  CSI’s Taunton registered eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work, with a lone blemish coming in the third, when Laudano hit him again with a towering double to left field that scored Brian Garcia to make it 3-2.  Hershfield also wiggled out of two leadoff base-running jams, before he was pulled in the fifth inning.

Still, great defense continued to reign and CSI couldn’t buy a clutch hit against reliever Marco Alonso, while CSI reliever Juan Rodriguez looked stellar in his first action on the year.  In the top of the eighth inning, JJC threatened with runners at second and third with one out, but Rodriguez got Sean Napier to strike out looking and induced a Brandon Thomas pop-out to end the frame.

CSI then went to work in the eighth.  Frank Muzzio laced a one-out single to start a rally, and CSI then flied out to post two outs with a runner at first.  Josh Mercado came on to pinch hit and singled through the left side to move Muzzio to second.  Anthony Lozada then looped a ball into right field that scored Muzzio from second knotting the score at 3-3.  Charlie Rodriguez came on in relief of Alonso and after yielding a walk to load the bases, was able to get Jett Nouvertne to fly out to end the frame.

That moved the game into the 9th, and Juan Rodriguez registered another two K’s and after an infield error, John Jay was done after a fly out by Rodriguez to end the threat.

Down to their final three outs, CSI did what championship sides often do, find a way to manufacture a win.  Frank Sconzo started the rally with a walk, and Bobby Drake did his job by sacrificing Sconzo over to second base.  Meola then grounded out to shortstop, but a heads-up Sconzo took third base on the play to put him at third with two men out.  Muzzio was next up, but he did not get to swing the bat.  Instead, Rodriguez threw a ball into the dirt that the catcher Laudano was able to get a piece of, but failed to corral, and Sconzo came scampering home to give CSI the 4-3, walk-off, win.

Juan Rodriguez scored the win, pitching 3.2 innings of relief, yielding just two hits while fanning four.  Charlie Rodriguez took the loss in one inning of relief.  John Jay out-hit CSI, 8-6.  Garcia and Laudano recorded two hits each while Meola and Lozada did the same for CSI.  Sconzo, who scored the game-winner, earned three walks in the game.

CSI will be right back in action tomorrow, when they host the Dolphins of Mount Saint Vincent for a single game at 6:00pm at the CSI Baseball Complex.