by Clifford Michel
On Monday April 21, the College of Staten Island played City College of New York in a CUNYAC doubleheader at Tomas D. Morales Field. CSI swept CCNY, winning 3-0 in game 1 and 2-1 in game two.
Sophomore pitcher, Chris Falcone, had an impressive start for the Dolphins in a day highlighted by the team’s tough defense. Falcone put up twelve strikeouts and only allowed four hits in his complete game start.
Both Falcone and the CCNY Beaver’s starting pitcher, Jose Aquino, pitched well as the game was scoreless going into the fourth inning. Phil Ciprello was able to break through, hitting a double into shallow centerfield to drive in Joseph Palmeri.
Later in the fourth, CCNY’s Gabriel Pena raced past second base to put himself in better scoring position, but the Dolphins quickly noticed that Pena didn’t step on second base. Freshman third baseman, Tilson Brito, quickly threw the ball to Nick Delprete before Pena noticed his error to get the crucial out.
The mistakes continued to pile on for City College in the fifth inning. Senior first baseman, Chris Ramanauskas, charged past third base when CCNY’s Jhosse Estrella overthrew the ball to his third basemen. Ramanauskas got the signal from the coaches to keep going and safely slid home, making the score 2-0 and adding some much needed distance in the defensive grudge match.
Falcone’s tremendous pitching continued to stall the Beavers’ offense. Gabriel Pena, along with hitting a single, was a constant threat to steal;
keeping Falcone and the CSI defense on their toes. Pena was able to generate a chance after putting himself in scoring position after stealing second base, but his teammates weren’t able to follow pace.
The Dolphins placed the final nail in the coffin after sophomore leftfielder, John Baggs, drove in junior leftfielder, Will DiFede, with a solid double into left centerfield.
In the nightcap, Mike Fitzpatrick upheld the impressive start made by Falcone, boasting five strikeouts and only four hits in seven innings.
Fitzpatrick started the game out by striking out the side of an eager CCNY squad. Later in the inning Palmeri and Difede would both get into scoring position. A deep triple by Baggs allowed the Dolphins to take a 2-0 lead early in the game.
CCNY would come close to scoring in the fifth inning as they had runners on first and third base, but with a ground ball hit by Jacob Sonenshine, the Beavers found themselves out in a quickly turned double play.
With the game nearing a close, CCNY’s Estrella took a risk in the sixth inning, stealing second base after he was walked. He then advanced to third on a groundout, and then scored the only run in the double header for the Beavers as Yoribaldis Olivo laid down a sacrifice bunt to make it 2-1.
Fitzpatrick capped his night by forcing two popups and a strike in the seventh inning to stave off a late CCNY comeback.
With the wins, the Dolphins are 14-11 overall and 7-1 in conference play, as they continue their dominance in the CUNYAC. As a team, they have the highest batting average (.276), the second best pitching ERA (3.38), the best fielding percentage (.964) among the CUNYAC conference.
Just six games remain for the Dolphins before the CUNYAC postseason starts. CSI will look to continue their dominance into the postseason in hopes of capturing their second straight CUNYAC championship. With the way they have played this season, it would be an improbable defeat if any CUNY team were able to overthrow the reigning champs.