POUGHKEEPSIE – Marist junior left-hander Rich Vrana (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) tossed the first complete-game shutout of his career as the Red Foxes earned a 6-0 home victory against Manhattan in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game on Thursday at McCann Baseball Field.
Vrana struck out seven and issued zero walks. He scattered eight hits, and threw 83 of his 110 pitches for strikes. He did not reach a three-ball count on any Manhattan batter, and improved his record to 1-6.
While Vrana was keeping Manhattan off the scoreboard, Jaspers starter Joey Rocchietti didn’t allow a hit to the Red Foxes in the first three innings. In the fourth, freshman designated hitter Tyler Kirkpatrick (Eagleville, Pa.) started a one-out rally with a walk. Senior catcher Zachary Passerelle (Sparta, N.J.) followed with the Red Foxes’ first hit, a bunt single which moved Kirkpatrick to second. Sophomore center fielder Graham McIntire (Concord, N.H.) followed with a double off the wall in left to bring home Kirkpatrick with the game’s first run. With two outs, Passerelle and McIntire scored on a throwing error, which put Marist up 3-0.
Marist added another run in the fifth. Senior shortstop Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and went to third on a wild pitch. With one out, Kirkpatrick ripped a ground ball through a drawn-in Manhattan infield, which brought home McQuail with the Red Foxes’ fourth run.
Manhattan’s best scoring chance came in the top of the sixth. With two outs and right fielder Chris Kalousdian on second base, second baseman Joe McClennan hit a line drive off the glove of Marist freshman third baseman Ben Moller (Warrington, Pa.). However, Moller recovered to throw Kalousdian out at the plate for the final out of the inning.
In the seventh, a throwing error brought home Kirkpatrick and junior first baseman Steve Laurino (Carle Place, N.Y.) with the game’s final two runs.
Manhattan outhit Marist, 8-5; the Red Foxes benefitted from five Manhattan errors. Kirkpatrick led the way for Marist offensively by going 1-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk and an RBI.
For Manhattan, Kalousdian, McClennan and first baseman Vin Teixeira had two hits apiece. Rocchietti took the loss and fell to 1-5. He went seven innings, allowed four hits and three walks, and struck out three. He was charged with all six Marist runs, four of which were unearned.
Marist is now 10-23 overall and 3-7 in the MAAC; Manhattan is 8-24 overall and 4-9 in the MAAC. The teams will conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch of game one, a seven-inning contest, is set for noon. A nine-inning game will follow.