FLUSHING, N.Y. (Mar. 27, 2012) – The Mavericks struck early for two runs but the Mercy College baseball team was unable to hold off Queens College in an East Coast Conference matchup on Tuesday afternoon, falling 9-5.
Queens improves to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in the ECC, while Mercy drops to 4-16 (2-3).
Junior right fielder Andrew Bock (Malverne, N.Y.) singled to lead off the top of the first and a hit batsman and wild pitch later stood on third base with another man on second. A pair of sacrifice flies by sophomore third baseman Ken Post (Closter, N.J.) and freshman designated hitter Bryan Greig (New City, N.Y.) gave the Mavericks an early 2-0 lead.
Senior Billy Dring (Mahopac, N.Y.) came out for the bottom of the first and struggled with his control, walking the first batter and hitting the next two to load the bases for junior first baseman Anthony Mazzella (Wantagh, N.Y.) to double two runs and a sac fly to push the go-ahead third across the plate.
The Mavericks nearly responded in the top of the second courtesy of two hit-by-pitches, but sophomore Joe Salanitri (West Islip, N.Y.) struck out two to keep the frame clean. Junior right fielder Steven Varela (Glendale, N.Y.) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to double the Knights' lead and after a 1-2-3 third inning at the plate for the Mavericks, Queens picked up another run in the bottom of the third and two more in the fourth to go up 7-2.
Mercy struggled to get much of anything going on offense over the next few innings, but finally got back on the board in the top of the seventh after a leadoff single and double put men on second and third. Consecutive groundouts scored two runs to cut the deficit to three, but Queens responded with another run in the bottom of the frame.
Mercy had one last chance to rally in the top of the eighth as an error kept the inning going for a pair of two-out singles to score a run, but again Queens matched it in the bottom of the inning and kept the Mavericks off the board in the ninth to take the game.
Bock left the game early along with several other starters after going 1-1 with a walk and run, while sophomore right fielder Michael Dern (Roslyn, N.Y.) was 1-2 with two RBI as his replacement and sophomore catcher John Casten (Walden, N.Y.) went 2-4 with a double and a run.
Dring was tagged with the loss after allowing four earned runs on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings, but struck out two. Sophomore Adam Rodriguez (Bronx, N.Y.) and freshman Brian Solomon (Newburgh, N.Y.) pitched clean frames, as Rodriguez gave up just a hit with two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings and Solomon surrendered two hits but whiffed three in one inning of work.
Freshman left fielder Nick LoBello (Baldwin, N.Y.) led the Knights with three hits in four at-bats with a double and one RBI, while Mazzella was 2-5 with a double and two RBI and Salanitri went 2-4 with a walk, stolen base, run scored and RBI batting leadoff. Junior centerfielder Warren Kelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) was 1-2 with two walks, three runs scored and a stolen base and Varela finished 2-4 with a run and RBI on his solo shot and a stolen base.
Salanitri picked up the win after giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits, a walk and four hit batters while striking out eight over 7 2/3 innings, while Varela came on to grab the save with 1 1/3 innings pitched, over which he allowed just one hit and struck out one.
Head Coach Bob Greiner and the Mavericks will look to bounce back on Saturday, March 31 as they travel to C.W. Post (11-10, 4-0) for a doubleheader kicking off at 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.