Myrtle Beach, SC | The College of Staten Island baseball team introduced their 2019 campaign this afternoon under the sunny sky of Myrtle Beach’s Cal Ripken Experience games, settling for a doubleheader split with Fredonia State University.  The Devils took the opening game, 11-2, before CSI bounced back to take a 3-2 nail-biter in the second game.  The Dolphins will start the season 1-1, while Fredonia, a winner over Lehman College yesterday, are now 2-1 this season.

In their spring training intro, CSI was neck-and-neck with FSU before a big, seven-run sixth inning for the Devils broke open the game and led to a lop-sided Devils win.  In the second matchup, CSI grabbed an early lead and held it with freshman John Esposito on the hill and transfer Andrew Nathan capping it with the save.

With CSI serving as the visiting team, they would claim the lead early against FSU starter Sam Cestra.  Anthony DiMarco started it off with one out and getting hit by a pitch, and after advancing to second, he was powered forward via a Domenick Castiglione single.  After registering an out CSI was down to their final chance in the inning when Nicholas Meola legged out an infield single that chased in DiMarco to make it 1-0.

The lead, however, did not hold, as FSU roughed up CSI starter Christian Capellan for two runs before the senior settled down nicely for a solid four innings of work.  Nicolas Fiore laced a one-out single and Russ Mistretta was then hit by a pitch.  William Clifford then made it hurt, towering a two-run double to make it 2-1.  Capellan would bounce back by striking out the next two batters to get out of the inning but FSU would not trail again.

CSI would tie the score at 2-2 in the fourth inning on a Sean Becker RBI-double that registered Meola, who got on base via a one-out walk.  From there, however, the game belonged to FSU.  The Devils added a pair of runs in the fifth inning, scoring on a pair of stolen base attempts, one via error.

As the game moved to the bullpen for the sixth and seventh innings, FSU was able to plate seven runs in the sixth on just four hits, as CSI surrendered four walks and a wild pitch.  DJ Schiersing registered a two-run double in the inning, accentuating the scoring.

FSU reliever Nick Ciraolo picked up the win in three innings of relief, fanning eight of nine batters he faced.  Capellan took the loss, tossing five innings, surrendering four earned runs, fanning seven next to just one walk.  Trevor Bradshaw, Fiore, and Schiersing each scored a pair of hits for the Devils.

In a great pitching performance on both sides, CSI won the second battle, giving the ball to Esposito for his first collegiate start.  While Esposito rolled through the first wave of the FSU order, the Dolphins opened up a 3-0 lead over the first three frames.  After a scoreless first, CSI got on the board against Nicholas Lawlor.  Andrew Nathan started with a single and would later come around on a Salvatore Trancucci single.

CSI would add two more in the third stanza.  Jett Nouvertne started with a single up the middle, and after being sacrificed over to second, Castiglione walked on.  That then brought up Meola, who towered a two-run double to left-center to put the Dolphins up, 3-0.  

From there, Fredonia was able to chip away but could not overcome the deficit.  A Brian Chatt double cut CSI’s lead to 3-1 before Esposito registered a strikeout and groundout to end the threat in the fourth inning.  FSU added another run in the fifth but Esposito wiggled out of the jam after surrendering an unearned run.

The Dolphins did not threaten offensively the rest of the way, but their defense took control.  In the sixth, freshman Steven Collica took center stage.  The rookie made a pair of scoop catches at first for outs and fielded another as well.  In the seventh, FSU threatened with a pair of walks off of reliever Nathan, but Nathan got even, hooking up with Collica for a pick-off that stole back momentum.  With a runner on base, Nathan forced a Fiore fly out to end the threat and the game, scoring CSI their first win of the season.

The final line for Esposito was six inning for the win, allowing one earned run, fanning five while walking two.  Lawlor took the loss, going 4.2 innings, allowing three earned, walking four and fanning a pair.  Nathan took the save with his scoreless seventh inning.  Nouvertne led the way with a pair of hits.

CSI will be back on the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader against the University of Valley Forge, beginning at 3:30pm.