Staten Island, NY | In what many would term a must-win game for the College of Staten Island baseball team, the Dolphins rallied to score a 5-2 win over Baruch College as part of CUNYAC play this afternoon, salvaging a win to complete a three-game set with the Bearcats. The win kept the Dolphins’ playoff hopes very much alive, lifting the team to 10-15 overall and 2-4 in the CUNYAC. Baruch, still atop the CUNYAC standings, fell to 8-13, 4-2, respectively.
Only the top two CUNYAC teams to finish in the regular season standings make the three-game series playoff at season’s end, and three behind in the loss column, CSI needed to right the ship after a doubleheader loss to Baruch on Sunday, and today the Dolphins got a sterling pitching performance from freshman Kevin Ryan and the bats came alive late to give the Dolphins the win.
In what could be coined a pitcher’s duel for the first four innings, Baruch got on the register early against Ryan, as a Davic Capellan game-opening walk on four pitches came back to bite the Dolphins, as Capellan advanced to third base on a Michael McGroarty one-out base hit and then came in to score on a Conor McCabe RBI hit that just cleared the right-field line. Ryan was able to muscle out of the inning, but the Bearcats had the edge.
The lead would hold for four innings, as Baruch starter JP Ramirez kept the Dolphins off balance and unable to string together hits despite putters runners on base in the first two frames. Ryan settled down as well, at one point retiring 11 of 12 Baruch hitters to keep the Dolphins within striking distance. CSI had a golden opportunity slip by them in the fourth. Two singles by Domenick Castiglione and Andrew Nathan was followed by a Sean Becker walk with one out. Nicholas Meola smacked a fly ball to right field, but after the catch, Kemal Deljanin made a throw on the line to the plate to nail Castiglione trying to come in to end the inning.
CSI, however, would finally rally in the fifth. Anthony DiMarco opened the frame by ripping a double down the right-field line, and after advancing to third on a passed ball, Anthony Lozada was walked. That was the end for Ramirez, who gave way to Dainiel Malik. Malik would force an out at the plate in the next at-bat, but then Nick Falcone launched a triple to left center field that cleared two base-runners to make it a 2-1 game. With Falcone at third, Jett Nouvertne followed with an RBI-single to make it 3-1 by plating Falcone.
After Ryan motored through the sixth, play moved into the seventh, and Baruch drew closer with a Capellan single that would score Deljanin who had singled earlier in the frame. With two out, Ryan gave way to Steven Collica, who was on the hill when Capellan got caught stealing to end the threat. Sensing the need for insurance, CSI got it with two in their turn of the seventh. This time Lozada opened with a double, and two at-bats later, Falcone stayed red-hot with a single to plate Lozada, moving to second on the play. With two outs Castiglione followed with an RBI single of his own, scoring Falcone to open up CSI’s lead to three runs.
CSI continued to work the bullpen and they did not disappoint. Salvatore Trancucci fanned two batters in a one-two-three eighth inning, and despite a hairy ninth, John Esposito recorded the save by striking out pinch hitter Jorge Keith Mercado with two outs in the top of the ninth, giving CSI the win.
Ryan took the win, finishing with 6.2 innings of work, yielding two runs on six hits, fanning six. Ramirez took the loss, going 4.0 innings, allowing a pair of runs. CSI spread out 13 hits to Baruch’s 7. Falcone was the hero, finishing 3-4 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Castiglione, DiMarco, and Lozada each tallied a pair of hits as well. McGroarty and McCabe finished with two hits apiece for Baruch.
The games get bigger and bigger for CSI, as they will start a three-game set with CUNYAC-rivals Lehman College beginning tomorrow afternoon in the Bronx for a single game, followed by two on Saturday at the CSI Baseball Complex at 12 Noon.