While the weather was brisk but thankfully dry, about 75 people were on hand to see a match-up of two college baseball teams from Manhattan, both of who call MCU Park home.
The NYU Violets were opening up their 2nd season at MCU Park, as they were taking on the Bloodhounds of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in a matinee doubleheader.
GAME 1 NYU: 6; JJay: 4
The Bloodhounds quickly lit up MCU Park’s scoreboard in the Top of the 1st. With Will Jauss, son of former Mets Bench Coach Dave Jauss, on the hill for the Violets, Zach Hyde got hit by a pitch on the 1st pitch of the season. Noel Sanchez was also hit by pitch to make it 1st & 2nd. Charlee Rodriguez whacked a double down the LF line to give the Bloodhounds an early 2-0 lead. Rodriguez took 3rd on the throw home. Brian Cabral drew a walk and R.J. Davila singled to left, scoring Rodriguez and moving Cabral to 2nd. Jason Gonzalez grounded out, but made it 2nd & 3rd. Joe Jacobsen ground out to short, scoring Cabral and moving Davila to 3rd. Jauss walked Robert Moncino but got out of the inning by striking out the #9 batter, Esteban Soler.
With Christian Rodriguez on the hill for the Bloodhounds, the Violets got a runner into scoring position in the Bottom of the 1st, but failed to score. They were unsuccessful in the Bottom of the 3rd as well, as they loaded the bases, but scored none.
NYU finally got on the scoreboard in the Bottom of the 4th. Jonathan Iaione led off with a walk & Scott Hilbrandt flew out to center. Iaione stole 2nd and Jeremy Wayne reached on a strike 3 that went passed the catcher, sending Iaione to 3rd. Andrew Cilento fouled out to first. Wayne stole 2nd to break up a double play. Adrian Spitz singled to 3rd, scoring Iaione and moving Wayne to 3rd. Spitz stole 2nd to avoid a double play. Ryan McLaughlin reached on an infield single, scoring Wayne and moving Spitz to 3rd. The inning ending when McLaughlin was caught stealing 2nd, but NYU had sliced the lead in half.
After a rocky start, Jauss settled down and was lights out the rest of the way and would be pulled after 5.
The Violets would tie it up in the Bottom of the 5th. Jake Smith singled to left and stole 2nd. Colman Hendershot reached on a fielder’s choice, as Smith beat the throw to 3rd. CJ Picerni hit a sac fly to left, scoring Smith and moving Hendershot to 2nd on the throw. Iaione grounded out to the pitcher, but moved Hendershot to 3rd. Hilbrandt hit a single that scored Hendershot. Wayne grounded out to end the inning, but the score was now tied.
Jacob Bader came in to pitch the Top of the 6th for NYU and was lights out.
The Violets would take the lead in the Bottom of the 6th. With Joe Gregory in to pitch, Jack Walter pinch hit for Cilento, drawing a walk and stealing 2nd. Spitz lay down a sac bunt, moving Walter to 3rd. McLaughlin singled to left, scoring Walter and giving NYU a 5-4 lead. Jake Smith doubled to right, scoring McLaughlin, giving the Violets a 2-run lead, which is how it would stay, as Gregory got out of the inning and Matt Millus closed it out for NYU for his 1st save of the season and NYU’s 1st win.
GAME 2 NYU: 5: JJay: 3
Despite the loss, John Jay once again got on the scoreboard in the Top of the 1st off Game 2 Starter Chad Johnstone. Hyde led off the game with a double down the RF line. Sanchez singled to right, moving Hyde to 3rd. Charlee Rodriguez singled to right, scoring Hyde and moving Sanchez to 2nd. The Bloodhounds attempted a double steal, but Sanchez was gunned down, but Rodriguez did move to 2nd. Cabral grounded out, moving Rodriguez to 3rd. Davila singled to center, scoring Rodriguez. Gonzalez singled to right, moving Davila to 3rd. Johnstone got Dylan Laudano to pop out, keeping the damage to 2-0.
The Violets quickly got some revenge in the Bottom of the 1st off Bloodhounds starter Matthew Oppedisano. Walter singled to right and stole 2nd. McLaughlin grounded out, but moved Walter to 3rd. Smith hit a sac fly to right to score Walter. Hendershot drew a walk and stole 2nd, but Oppedisano got Spitz to line out.
John Jay would add another in the Top of the 3rd. Gonzalez hit a 2-out doubled and would score on a single by Laudano.
NYU quickly bounded back in the Bottom of the 3rd. Walter reached on a bunt single and stole 2nd. McLaughlin flew out to right, but a single by Smith scored Walter. Smith stole 2nd and scored on a double by Hendershot to tie it at 3. Oppedisano struck out Spitz to end the inning.
Matt Wells relieved Johnstone in the Top of the 4th, retiring the side.
The Violets hot hitting continued into the Bottom of the 4th. Picerni CJ singled and moved to 2nd on a ground out by Iaione. Hilbrandt walked and Wayned hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Picerni. Walter walked, but McLaughlin went down looking to end the inning. They added another for good measure in the Bottom of the 5th, as Spitz reached on a bunt single off reliever Matthew Quirindongo. A single by Picerni scored him to make it 5-3.
Jarrett Weiss came in and pitched 2 shutout innings to earn a save, including a game ending strikeout, (allowing for a HE STRUCK HIM OUT chant) giving the Violets a 2-0 record.