PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (March 4, 2012) – The offense finally started strong and competed throughout the game but the Mercy College baseball team was unable to keep the bats of Pace University in check, falling 11-4 on Sunday in Pleasantville, N.Y.
Pace improves to 4-0 with the win while Mercy drops to 0-3 in its warm-ups for its Florida trip beginning this week.
The Mavericks got to sophomore pitcher Jonathan Silva (Staten Island, N.Y.) early, scoring four in the bottom of the first, but that would be all they mustered in the game despite posting nine hits, drawing seven walks and benefitting from an error.
Freshman Joseph Pareres (Bronxville, N.Y.) took the mound for the Mavericks and ran into some trouble immediately, allowing two one-out singles but coaxing a groundout into a double play to get out of the first inning. The Mavericks offense gave him a four-run lead heading into the second inning, however, as freshman shortstop Vinny Orlando (East Meadow, N.Y.) led off the bottom of the first with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, junior centerfielder Nick Papas (Castleton, N.Y.) reached base on a single and stole second and sophomore first baseman Jesus Jaile (Hartsdale, N.Y.) drew another walk to load the bases for junior right fielder Andrew Bock (Malverne, N.Y.). Bock then delivered a two-RBI double down the right field line to give Mercy the lead, and although Silva finally got the second out of the inning on the next batter, he promptly allowed a single to freshman third baseman Chris Salvo (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) that scored Jaile and Bock to put the Mavericks up 4-0.
The Setters began to chip away at the Mavericks' lead in the second inning, though. With men on first and third, a Salvo error allowed a run to score before Pareres could get himself out of trouble again. Mercy nearly added to its lead in the bottom of the second as sophomore second baseman Eric Fazio (Levittown, N.Y.) drew a walk to start the inning, but he was picked off and a double by freshman left fielder Giovanni Lasalandra (Warwick, N.Y.) was for naught as Papas struck out to end the inning.
Pareres got himself in trouble again in the third and unfortunately was not able to escape this time as he committed a throwing error and hit a batter to load the bases, after which a groundout RBI and two-RBI double by one of Friday's stars in sophomore left fielder James Pjura (Shelton, Conn.) scored three to tie the game. Pjura scored the go-ahead run two batters later, leaving Pareres with a tough loss due to five earned runs on six hits and a walk in three innings of work.
Pace kept piling it on as the game continued, with a pair of two-out singles scoring two runs in the fourth, a pair of errors pushing three more across in the fifth and finally a Pjura leadoff double, two-out walk and single combining to score another in the sixth.
The Mavericks threatened to cut the deficit throughout the game as Lasalandra reached second again in the fifth on a leadoff single and wild pitch, Papas led off the seventh with a double and Mercy loaded the bases twice with one and no outs in the sixth and eighth innings, respectively, but could not come up with the clutch hits needed to put runs up on the scoreboard and fell 11-4 in the end.
Bock, Lasalandra and Papas each recorded two hits in five at-bats with one double apiece, with Bock knocking two runs in and scoring once and Papas scoring as well swiping a base. Jaile also impressed at the plate with a 1-2 line with two walks and a run batting cleanup. The Mavericks bullpen shut down the Setters in the late innings once again, with senior Walter Kowalczyk (Valhalla, N.Y.), senior Chuck DeHart (Staten Island, N.Y.) and sophomore Adam Rodriguez (Bronx, N.Y.) combining to give up just one hit and a walk in three innings, with the latter two each recording a strikeout.
Pjura feasted on the Mercy pitching once again, putting up a 4-5 line including three doubles with three RBI and two runs scored. Senior second baseman Kyle Turnier (Waterford, Conn.) went 2-5 with a double, walk, stolen base and two runs in the two-hole and junior catcher Joe Solomeno (Holbrook, N.Y.) recording three hits in five at-bats, scoring once and recording one RBI batting third. Junior pitcher Neil Pezzullo (Harwich, Mass.) earned the win for Pace with two innings pitched, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three as the staff combined for 10 punchouts.
Head Coach Bob Greiner and the Mavericks will head off to Fort Pierce, Fla. for their next 13 games, where they will take on the likes of No. 14 Southern Connecticut State University and other regional powers. Their first game at the Longwood Athletic Complex will be against the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Thursday, March 8. The opening pitch is set to be thrown at 8:00 p.m.