POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist baseball team swept a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) doubleheader from Fairfield at McCann Field on Saturday. The Red Foxes took game one by a score of 4-2, and won the seven-inning second game 6-3.
Freshman center fielder Matt Pagano (Cranston, R.I.) paced the Marist offense by going 6-for-7 with five runs scored and three RBIs on the day. Junior Kevin McCarthy (Malverne, N.Y.) saved both games. In 3.1 innings of work, McCarthy struck out five and allowed just one hit. He retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced.
Here is a closer look at both games:
Game One: Marist 4, Fairfield 2
Senior right-hander Chris Bielak (Sayreville, N.J.) went seven-plus innings to earn the win, as he improved to 4-1. Bielak allowed just six hits and two runs, and struck out six. McCarthy entered the game in the eighth with the tying run at the plate and no outs. He worked his way out of the jam with just one inherited runner scoring, and then tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.
Marist scored first in its first at-bat. Pagano led off with a single, and scored on a two-out double by senior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) After Fairfield tied the game in the third, Marist took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning. Pagano again led off with a single, and scored on a double by senior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.).
The Red Foxes then added a pair of runs in the seventh. Sophomore catcher Mark Brennan (Wallingford, Conn.) led off with an infield single, and scored on a one-out single by Pagano, who would come home himself on an RBI single by Shank.
Pagano finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Shank was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. For Fairfield, center fielder Alex Witkus went 2-for-2 and scored both of the Stags’ runs. Starter Mike Wallace (3-3), who went the first seven innings, took the loss.
Game Two: Marist 6, Fairfield 3
Senior right-hander Brett Houseal (Landisville, Pa.) won his fifth consecutive decision, going the first 5.2 innings. McCarthy relieved him with the Red Foxes leading 4-3, but with the Stags having the tying run at second and go-ahead run at first. McCarthy struck out Witkus to end the inning, and after Marist added two insurance runs in its half of the sixth, he struck out two in the seventh to earn his fifth save of the season.
Marist scored first in the third as Pagano once again led off with a single. He came in to score on a one-out single by junior third baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.). However, Fairfield answered with three runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Marist then fought back with three runs in its half of the inning. After an RBI single by freshman second baseman Joey Aiola (Suffern, N.Y.) brought the Red Foxes to within one run, Pagano delivered a two-run single to put his team up for good.
Pagano started the rally in Marist’s two-run sixth with a one-out single. After a Shank single, Orefice’s RBI single brought home Pagano to make the score 5-3. McQuail followed with a sacrifice fly to bring home Shank with the game’s final run.
Fairfield was led offensively by third baseman Jake Salpietro, who went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Starter Jeremy Soule, who went three-plus innings, took the loss and is now 1-6.
Marist improved to 17-12-1 overall and 8-3 in the MAAC; Fairfield is now 10-19 overall and 3-8 in conference. The teams will wrap up their three-game series on Sunday with a single game at noon at McCann Field.