Valhalla, NY | In a pair of games that came right down to the wire and that certainly held some playoff implications, the College of Staten Island baseball dropped a pair of razor-thin games at the hands of Baruch College in a CUNYAC pair held at Westchester Community College in Valhalla.  Baruch won the opener on a pitching gem, 2-0, then came from behind twice to upset CSI in the second game, 6-5.  CSI fell to 8-14 overall and 1-4 in CUNYAC play, while Baruch upped their records to 8-11, 4-1, respectively.

It was a frustrating afternoon for both teams at the plate as CSI’s John Esposito and BC’s Paul Sirakowski squared off in a pitcher’s duel that saw both teams give up just two hits through seven innings.

Both teams squandered a base runner in the opening inning, and after Sirakowski retired CSI in order in the second, BC got all the scoring they needed off of Esposito.  Conor McCabe walked to start the inning, and it would prove costly.  McCabe was advanced to second on a ground ball, and was promptly plated by JP Ramirez, who had the biggest hit of the game, a triple to center field, to score McCabe. 

Sirakowski again retired CSI in order in the third and in their turn against Esposito, Baruch doubled the lead when Michael McGroarty chased in Davic Capellan with a sac fly.

They didn’t know it at the time, but CSI would get their second and last hit of the game in the fourth inning, and seemed to be in business when an error helped put runners at second and third with one out.  But Sirakowski responded by forcing a groundout and a routine fly out to end the threat.

CSI got another base runner to third in the fifth inning thanks to a walk, a stolen base and a throwing error, but after a 9-pitch at-bat, Sirakowski got out of the jam with a strikeout of Domenick Castiglione.  That proved the end of the threats, as Sirakowski retired the final CSI six batters in order to go the distance in the win, 2-0.

Sirakowski fanned five in the win, improving to 2-1 this season.  Esposito allowed two earned runs in six innings on two hits, fanning four in the loss.

After being held off of the scoreboard in the opener, CSI registered not one, but two leads in the second game only to see the Bearcats roar back both times.  

The Dolphins got to work early, tallying two hits in the first and were able to scratch out a run against BC starter Theodore Avgerinos helped along by an error as well.  Castiglione would score the run after reaching on a fielder’s choice earlier in the inning, plated by a Sean Becker RBI-single.

Despite walking a pair in the bottom of the first, CSI starter Salvatore Trancucci escaped danger with a pair of strikeouts, and then in the second, CSI took more control.  A two-run single by Jett Nouvertne opened a 3-0 lead, plating Michael Ciancio who reached via a fielder’s choice and Nick Falcone who scored a single.

The lead would last until the bottom of the third inning, when Baruch was finally able to spell Trancucci.  Helped along by an error, Baruch cut the lead when Gerardo Roque plated Kemal Deljanin who singled to lead off the inning, on a two-out single.  McCabe followed with another RBI-single plating McGroarty to make it 3-2, and then two runners would come home on a hit plus throwing error off of the bat of Ramirez to make it 4-3 in BC’s favor.

After a pair of rather uneventful innings, CSI was down to their final six outs in the sixth.  Avgerinos recorded two quick outs, but Castiglione interrupted the perfect inning with a single.  Andrew Nathan then stepped in and made some noise, powering his second home run of the season to left field, giving CSI the 5-4 edge.

The great play, however, did not make the Bearcats flinch and in the sixth, Trancucci was lifted for Christian Capellan for a six-out save opportunity.  Ramirez started, however, by getting on via error, and then Liam O’Gara walked.  CSI then committed another error due to interference which loaded the bases with still no one out.  Up stepped Deljanin and he inflicted the hurt with a two-RBI single, the first hit of the inning, giving BC the 6-5 lead.  Thankfully for the Dolphins they did record an out at second base on the play and Capellan got a double play on a strike-them-out, throw-them-out situation, but the damage was done and CSI had to come back again to try and win the game.

Angel Acevedo came on in relief for his save appearance relieving Avgerinos, and he promptly gave up a pinch hit single to John Pomerico.  He was replaced on the base paths by Khalid Zahrieh, but in a huge play, Zahrieh was caught stealing.  Steven Collica would follow with a single, but after he was replaced, Acevedo forced a double play to end the inning and the game, 6-5, in Baruch’s favor.

Avgerinos upped his record to 3-0, throwing six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits, walking one and fanning three.  Capellan dipped to 0-5 with the loss, while Trancucci pitched five innings yielding four runs (three earned) on four hits, walking three and fanning eight.  CSI out-hit Baruch in the second game, 11-5, with Nouvertne, Castiglione, Becker and Collica each recording a pair of hits.

CSI will next be in action on Tuesday, looking to rebound with a doubleheader against the College of New Rochelle beginning at 4pm at the CSI Baseball Complex.