Staten Island, NY | The College of Staten Island baseball team hosted their annual matchup with Drew University on Grace Hillery Breast Cancer Awareness night this evening, but on a night highlighted by the recognition of several distinguished guests, including cancer survivors Dawn Cottone, Jackie Tripodi, and Katherine Gaglione, as well as fundraising efforts amounting to $4,000 in support of a great cause, the Dolphins suffered a lopsided 11-1 at the hands of the Rangers. The defeat extended the Dolphins losing skid to five and dropped them to 13-20 on the season while the Rangers win ended their streak of four consecutive losses to CSI dating back to 2014 and improved their overall record to 18-13.
Before the action started, CSI entertained the healthy crowd to a pregame ceremony that welcomed back former CSI student-athlete Anthony Hillery, whose mother, Grace, passed away from the disease in 2004. After a $1,000 check presentation from title sponsor TLC Physical Therapy led by owner Jason LaMendola, and another $1,000 donation made by the Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation that was followed by words from Teddy Atlas himself, CSI welcomed their three distinguished honorees. Breast cancer survivors Cottone and Tripodi were flanked by the families, as was Gaglione, an 11-year old St. Patrick’s School student who survived Leukemia thanks to early detection. Monies raised from the event will go to CSI’s Staten Island Breast Cancer Research Initiative and other charities and foundations chosen by the three honorees.
Things got off to a tumultuous start for Dolphins pitching beginning with starter Joseph Decelie who walked three in the opening inning to load the bases. However, Decelie was ultimately able to escape the bases loaded jam with a strikeout of Bryan Reagle. Despite escaping the opening frame unscathed, Decelie was relieved by Joseph Titta in the second, but Titta also proceeded to load the bases on a leadoff single, hit batter, and a walk. As Decelie did before him, Titta also stranded the bases loaded with a punchout of his own to keep the game scoreless.
It was in the third that the Rangers finally broke through against Titta to get on the scoreboard for the first time. The inning began with a Matthew Lange single and he came around to score on a long double into the left-field corner off the bat of Bryan Reagle. A Brent Lincoln single would safely advance Reagle to third, but Reagle was thrown out at the plate trying to score all the way from first. With two away, three straight Titta walks forced home another run giving the Rangers all of the scoring they would need to secure the victory.
The Dolphins didn’t pick up their first base hit until the fourth, a Jett Nouvertne infield single to open the inning, but Nouvertne was removed from the game for pinch runner Michael Crocco one batter later. CSI made nothing of the leadoff baserunner and the Rangers got right back into the run column in the fifth following a Dolphins error that allowed Max Felsenstein, who was hit by a pitch and swiped a base, to score from second with two outs making it 3-0.
It was in the sixth that the game was broken wide open by the Rangers as six base-hits, two walks, and a hit batter fueled an eight-run outburst that put Drew ahead by double digits, 11-0. This would be the last time the Rangers would score, but starting pitcher Jendy Castillo was able to maintain a one-hit shutout all the way until the ninth inning. After issuing a leadoff walk to Nicholas Dedato, Castillo surrendered a loud double to Andrew Nathan which advanced Dedato to third. The first CSI run would come home moments later on a passed ball, but Castillo would quickly record the final three outs after that to close out an 11-1 Rangers victory.
Titta was the losing pitcher for CSI in a game which saw the Dolphins pitching staff struggle to find the strike zone once again. Castillo made it three consecutive opposing starters that have gone the distance against CSI as he earned his fifth win, allowing only two hits and a single run in the complete game victory. Zach Lipshitz, Reagle, and Lincoln all had three hits for the Rangers with Reagle and Lincoln driving in a pair. Felsenstein drew three of the Rangers ten walks in a game which saw only eight Dolphins reach base, two coming on base hits, five on walks, and one on an error.
Next up for the Dolphins are a trio of games against CUNYAC foe John Jay that will decide the fate of CSI in the CUNYAC standings. CSI enters the three-game set against the Bloodhounds needing to outperform CCNY by a single win in each team’s last three CUNY matchups in order to secure a berth in the three-game CUNYAC Championship series against the top-seeded Baruch College Bearcats. The first of the three matchups will take place this Friday at 12:00 pm from the CSI Baseball Complex with the Dolphins as the home team while the Saturday games will also be played at the College of Staten Island with John Jay as the home team.