BROOKLYN, NY – The St. Joseph's College baseball team held one run leads on two occasions, but ultimately fell in 5-4 in nine innings in the opener of a doubleheader against Baruch College at MCU Park on Saturday afternoon. A six-run frame in game two proved too much of a deficit to overcome, also losing the nightcap 7-4.
Junior Kevin Diaz (Staten Island, NY/Monsignor Farrell) paced the Bears at the plate, going 3-for-7 for the series, with three RBI and two doubles. Freshman Chris Pacifico (Brooklyn, NY/St. Edmund's) knocked two hits over the twin-bill, with two walks, a run scored and a RBI.
St. Joseph's (3-15) concludes a scheduled five-game home stand at MCU Park hosting Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday, April 12 for a single game starting at 4 p.m.
Game 1 – Baruch 5, St. Joseph's 4 (9 inn)
Baruch got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd inning on a two-out single by Justin Torres that scored Jonathan Ovalles that gave the Bearcats a 1-0 lead.
The Bears made the most of a Baruch miscue taking a 2-1 in the top of the 5th. After Danny Zaretsky (Brooklyn, NY/Lincoln) drew a leadoff walk, the Bearcats committed two errors on a Steven Trudden (Broad Channel, NY/Cathedral Prep) sacrifice attempt that gave St. Joseph's runners on second and third. Zaretsky scored on a passed ball to level the game at 1-1. Later in the frame, with Trudden still on second and Pacifico on first after a walk, Diaz drove a ball to right center that scored Trudden and appeared to score Pacifico, but in a controversial call by the home plate umpire, Pacifico was ruled not to have crossed home before Diaz was thrown out at third trying to make a triple.
The lost run would prove crucial as Baruch took back the lead in the bottom of the 6th after a leadoff single by John Yuksekol followed by an RBI double by Thomas Daly. Daly later scored on an Anthony Melendez sacrifice fly giving Baruch a 3-2 lead.
But the Bears rallied in the top of the 7th to go back on top as Diaz delivered two runs with a double to left center, scoring Pacifico and Joseph Boccia (Westwood, NJ/Westwood) who drew back-to-back leadoff walks.
Bears starter Donny Pagano (Staten Island, NY/St. Peter's) had a chance to earn the complete game victory, but a failed pickoff attempt on the leadoff hitter put a runner in scoring position and Baruch played small ball, bunting him across and bringing him home with a sacrifice fly to tie the game 4-4 after regulation. Pagano tossed 6.2 innings in the no decision, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and striking out five.
In the bottom of the ninth, Marcos Mejia knocked a leadoff hit to center and moved into scoring position stealing second. Richard Melendez ended the game with a single to right as the throw home would not be in time, giving Baruch a 5-4 victory.
Game 2 – Baruch 7, St. Joseph's 4
Both teams remained tied after three innings, with Baruch, now the road team, taking a 1-0 lead off starter Danny Contant (Staten Island, NY/Xaverian) in the top of the 4th inning. Mejia led off the frame with a double and stole third, scoring on a grounder to second.
Baruch inflicted the most damage in the top of the 5th as Contant experienced some control problems, hitting two batters and the Bearcats knocking four hits to plate six runs.
The outcome looked bleak for St. Joseph's, now facing a seven run deficit and held hitless through four innings. But the Bears finally got to Bearcat starter Sami Zantout, taking advantage of three free passes and knocking two hits, to score four runs and remain within reach.
St. Joseph's wouldn't find any more offense over the final two innings against reliever Jason Valentin who came in to preserve the win for the Baruch. Contant (0-4) took the loss for St. Joseph's allowing seven runs on six hits, while striking out two in five innings of work.
- Head Coach Scott Losche falls to 1-2 while at the helm of the Bears against his alma mater. A three-time CUNYAC All-Star as a player, Losche later led the Bearcats to their first conference title as a head coach and was inducted to the Baruch Hall of Fame in 2007.
- Junior Jon Mendez saw his eight-game hitting streak snapped, failing to record a hit during the series.