BRONX, NY – Juniors Joseph Boccia (Westwood, NJ/Westwood) and Jon Mendez (Brooklyn, NY/Xaverian) both became the first players in the four year history of St. Joseph's College baseball to record 100 career hits yesterday in game one of a doubleheader against Yeshiva. Boccia singled in each of the first two innings and Mendez doubled in the third to reach the milestone. The Bears improve to 8-22 on the season after sweeping the Maccabees 8-3 and 4-3.
St. Joseph's received excellent pitching from starters Mykelle Cortez (Brooklyn, NY/Cobble Hill) and Danny Contant (Staten Island, NY/Xaverian). Cortez threw a complete game in the opener to pick up his second win of the season. He struck out seven and allowed three runs on just three hits. Contant didn't' stay in long enough for the win, but struck out eight in 4.1 innings.
The Bears tallied 11 hits in game one, including the two record breakers. In addition to Boccia, Joseph Mendez (Staten Island, NY/Monsignor Farrell), Danny Zaretsky (Brooklyn, NY/Lincoln) and Joseph Swierczewski (Ozone Park, NY/Archbishop Molloy) knocked two hits in game one. Zaretsky also picked up two hits and two RBI in the nightcap.
St. Joseph's will play their penultimate game of the season tomorrow, May 3rd at John Jay. The nine-inning contest will be played at M.C.U. Park with the Bears the road team and will start at 3:00 pm.
Game 1 – St. Joseph's 8, Yeshiva 3
Boccia led off the game with a single, his 99th career hit, and came around to score the first of two unearned runs in the inning. The Bears took advantage of the Maccabees early mistakes to stake Cortez to a lead.
Cortez didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning as he dazzled all afternoon with his seven inning, seven strikeout performance. His only trouble came in a three run fifth when back-to-back doubles broke up his shutout bid. Cortez allowed three hits in the inning, the only three he'd allow all game.
The Bears scored at least one run in each of the first three innings. In the second with two outs and a runner in scoring position, Boccia laced his second single of the game and 100th career hit to put the Bears up 3-0. Boccia became the first player in St. Joseph's history to collect 100 career hits.
An inning later, it was Jon Mendez' turn. Sitting at 99 career hits, Mendez roped a two-RBI double to match Boccia with 100 hits. The two RBI proved to be the game winners, as Cortez didn't need any more help leading the Bears to victory.
After the Maccabees (4-21) cut the lead to 5-3, St. Joseph's quickly added some insurance with two runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh as Zaretsky, Swierczewski and Joe Mendez each had RBI doubles to give St. Joseph's the 8-3 win. The six doubles in the game were the most by the Bears this season.
Game 2 – St. Joseph's 4, Yeshiva 3
Game two started off much differently than game one, with Yeshiva scoring early and holding a 3-0 lead. Contant hit the leadoff batter in the second inning and he came around to score on a single to give the Maccabees the early lead.
With the Bears offense struggling, Yeshiva padded their lead with a run in the fourth and fifth innings. Things almost got out of hand for St. Joseph's but a great defensive play gave the Bears a spark. Already trailing 3-0 with the bases loaded and one out, Joe Mendez snagged a line drive in right field and fired home to nail the runner trying to tag-up from third.
The Bears carried that momentum to the plate and began their comeback. A double by Kevin Diaz (Staten Island, NY/Monsignor Farrell) and a walk to Jon Mendez brought the tying run to the plate with one out. After Joe Mendez popped up, Mike Cundari (Staten Island, NY/St. Peters) reached on an error, which allowed Diaz to score the first St. Joseph's run, and Zaretsky ripped a double to score Jon Mendez and Cundari to tie the game, 3-3.
Reliever Chris Vargas (Brooklyn, NY/Nazareth Regional), who entered the game in the middle of the fifth, set the Maccabees down in order and the game remained tied heading into the seventh.
In the top half of the inning, Swierczewski led off with a single and stole second, his second stolen base of the doubleheader. The Bears executed good fundamentals, moving Swierczewski over to third with less than two outs and Boccia picked up the game-winning RBI with a ground out to first.
Vargas once again pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to pick up his first career win and the Bears third straight, 4-3.