RIVERDALE, N.Y. – The Marist baseball team dropped the rubber match of its three game series at Manhattan, falling 2-0 on Sunday afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game.
Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.) and Eric Helmrich (Yonkers, N.Y.) each had two hits for the Red Foxes, as Shank extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Matt Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) and Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.) also recorded hits. Left-hander starter Rich Vrana (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) took the loss, falling to 2-1 on the season, as he gave up one unearned run on two hits in four innings. Marist outhit Manhattan 6-5, but grounded into four double plays on the afternoon.
Marist (15-11, 6-3 MAAC) nearly took a quick 1-0 lead in the second inning. Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) led off and was hit by a pitch. Zachary Passarelle (Sparta, N.J.) grounded into a fielder’s choice, beating out the relay throw to first after McQuail was forced out at second. Joey Aiola (Suffern, N.Y.) reached on a dropped fly ball by left fielder, advancing Passarelle to second. Helmrich followed with a single up the middle. Passarelle appeared to beat the throw home by the center fielder, but was called out by the home plate umpire. Aiola was picked off second to end the inning.
The Jaspers (13-15, 5-4 MAAC), picked to finish first in the MAAC preseason coaches’ poll, answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, scoring without the benefit of a hit. Vrana walked the leadoff batter, Brendan Slattery. Chris Reynolds attempted to sacrifice him up to second, but McQuail cut down the lead off runner with a heads up play. Reynolds promptly made up for it though, stealing second base. A passed ball advanced him third and he scored on an RBI groundout by Joe Rock.
Manhattan scratched across its only other run in the sixth inning. With two outs and a runner on second, Rock got his second RBI with a single up the middle.
Scott McClennan pitched all nine innings for Manhattan, earning the complete game shutout with just one strikeout. He also did not walk a batter, a day after Jaspers’ pitchers issued 17 walks in 16 innings.
Marist returns home to play Albany in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday. First pitch is schedule for 2 p.m. There has been a change in the schedule as the teams were originally scheduled for one game at 3:30. They will now play two seven-inning games.