BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) baseball team fell short against the College of Staten Island at MCU Park on Wednesday afternoon as the Dolphins scored a run in the ninth to take a 6-5 victory and win the season series.
St. Joseph's (11-8) has now lost two out of their last three following a four-game winning streak, while Staten Island (11-8) has won four out of the last five.
The Dolphins jumped on the Bears early, scoring a run in the first and two in the second to stake claim to a 3-0 lead. However, St. Joseph's came right back in the bottom of the second and put up a four spot to take a 4-2 lead. The Bears received three RBI singles in a row from Domenick Camerada (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell), Francis Rapp (Baldwin, N.Y./Oceanside) and Anthony DeFillippo (Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian HS) before Thomas McKenna (Bellerose, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field.
St. Joseph's took a pitching by committee approach as starter Donny Pagano (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) went the first two innings surrendering four hits, three runs (one earned) with a strikeout. Freshman Mitch Brigando (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) followed Pagano on the mound with a scoreless third before giving up an RBI single in the fourth that allowed Staten Island to tie the score up at 4-4.
Senior Joe Mendez (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell) led off the third with a double to left center but was left stranded at third and St. Joseph's went down in order in the fourth after Dolphins starter John Baggs found his rhthym after the hiccup in the second frame.
Freshman Anthony Van Sise (Staten Island, N.Y./New Dorp) took the reins from Brigando on the hill in the fifth and allowed a leadoff single up the middle before a sacrifice bunt and a groundout moved the runner to third with two outs. The runner came home to score on a wild pitch, putting Staten Island up 5-4 heading to the home half of the inning.
Relieving Baggs in the fifth was John Pignatelli who got McKenna to fly out to begin the inning, but senior Mike Cundari (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) followed with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Mendez came up and smacked a double down the left field line on a 3-2 pitch that allowed Cundari to score easily and allow the Bears to knot the score up at 5-5.
Neither team would score in the sixth, seventh or eighth innings as Van Sise and sophomore Brian Luebcke (Astoria, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) combined to throw three scoreless innings for St. Joseph's, setting up a dramatic ninth inning.
Luebcke got the leadoff hitter to ground out to the first baseman before allowing an infield single to put the go-ahead run on base. The next batter struck out, but Joseph Palmeri came through with an RBI single to center, allowing the base runner who was in motion to score the go-ahead run and give the Dolphins a 6-5 edge heading into the bottom of the ninth.
After replacing Jason Failla with a 2-0 count on DeFillippo, Anthony Storz preceded to get the freshman to fly out. However, things would get interesting as McKenna walked and Cundari hit a rocket to third that the third baseman was able to handle, putting the tying and winning runs on base. Storz shut the door with a strikeout and a close play at first on a groundout to the second baseman that ended the game and saw the Bears fall short of their second straight walk-off win.
Luebcke pitched three strong innings for St. Joseph's, but took the loss allowing one earned run on three hits to fall to 1-1 on the bump this season.
Mendez concluded the day with a pair of hard-hit doubles, going 2-for-5 with his team-leading 28th RBI on the season, while Cundari ended up 2-for-5 with a run scored. Cutrone went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Camerada and Rapp each finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, while DeFillippo capped off the day 1-for-5 with an RBI and McKenna finished with a 1-for-3 day the dish with a run driven in.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other Contributors: Vinny Rossi (1-for-4, R) Nicholas LoPrinzi (1-for-4)
- All nine Bears in the starting lineup recorded a hit.
- Both teams recorded 12 hits on the afternoon with the Bears committing two errors compared to one by the Dolphins.
- There were only five walks in the game, three issued by St. Joseph's and two given out by Staten Island.
- The Bears left nine men on base, while the Dolphins stranded eight.
- No pitcher for St. Joseph's threw more than 43 pitches.
THE BEAR FACTS
- The Bears fall to 4-11 all-time against the Dolphins in a series that dates back to 2008.
- The loss at MCU Park was St. Joseph's first since April 3, 2012 against Drew.
- Cutrone is now one hit shy of 100 for his career.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS – CCNY
St. Joseph's has a quick turnaround as they are right back at it tomorrow facing CCNY at Randall's Island with a first pitch of 4 p.m.