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John Jay has the Answer in 7-4 Victory over Hastings-on-Hudson

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By Rich MonettiPublished 4 days ago Updated a day ago 4 min read
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After scoring four in the first versus third seeded Hastings-on-Hudson, John Jay had a 5-1 lead in the fifth, and the prospects looked very good with Nick Fassert in relief. Unfortunately, a walk, an error and a hit suddenly made it 5-4, but Coach Ted Lawrence still wasn’t knocked off his game. “I’ve been around long enough to understand these things happen,” he said, and even better, the same went for the players.

“For us to answer and add two back was huge,” said the coach, and a gritty 7-4 win sent the Wolves into the semifinal round.

The home team didn’t help themselves at the outset either. After Jacob Storch and Nick Fassert walked, Nolan Rhodes’ little dribbler up the first base line was not handled by starting pitcher Billy Murnighan, and the Wolves had the bases loaded.

No one out, Nick Russo was hit, and Hastings was forced to take the first run on the chin. A wild pitch brought in run number two, but Murnighan settled down. He got Eliot Arbogast on strikes, and Will Civetta flew out.

Too shallow to score Rhodes, Gavin Bisignano was on the docket and made no apologies for getting one on a platter. “He gave me a fastball down the middle, and I crushed it,” said the catcher.

A two run single, Jacob Storch was up on the mound. Unfortunately, he quickly evened the HBP stat, and Luke Ciszewski was on first.

A bad omen possibly, Storch wasn’t hexed for the moment. The sophomore got Johnny Sbrega to bounce into a force, and Kieren McGrath flied to center.

An out to go, the Yellow Jackets stood tall and stung Storch with consecutive singles. Jackson Acree moved Sbrega over, and Theo Suniewick drove in the run.

A wild pitch moved the runners up and John Jay was in danger of losing the big advantage. Pitcher versus pitcher, Storch got Murnighan on strikes and preserved the 4-1 lead.

The bottom of the second had Hastings-on-Hudson threatening too. A walk to Jason Nadler and a single by Ciszewski screamed two out rally, but the home team put on the breaks on themselves. Nadler took off, and Bisignano fired up his silencer for the out at third.

Done being quiet after missing several games to injury, Rhodes smoked a double to deep center, and an Arbogast bunt started the merry-go-round. The throw went awry, and it appears to be 5-1.

Instead, the umpire ruled that the ball hit Arbogast in the box, and everyone was sent back. He then bounced to third, and Bisignano popped to center to end the inning.

A reprieve, the home team kept at it. Sbrega walked, and a sharp line drive single to left by Acree had the Yellow Jackets buzzing again. So Storch clipped their wings by getting Suniewick to ground to short.

A 6-4-3 double play, and John Jay took their turn creating traffic on the base paths. Storch singled, Fassert reached on an error, and Rhodes walked. All with two outs, Russo gave the ball a ride, but Keith Capuano ran it down in deep center.

In turn, Storch kept the drama to a minimum. Two strikeouts and a groundout, and the John Jay bats returned to up the anxiety. Civetta doubled to the left centerfield gap, and Bisignano’s RBI single had Storch feeling very appreciative of the insurance run. “I love Gavin so much,” extolled Storch.

He wasn’t necessarily feeling the same way when pulled in the fifth. “I was a little mad at first,” said the starter.

Of course, he quickly came around. “We have Fassert there, so I knew he would shut it down,” reasoned Storch.

An 0-2 count to start the inning, the closing door seemed just ahead. Nadler worked a walk instead, and a little ground ball down first turned into a lot. Fassert picked it up and threw over Russo’s head.

Sbrega followed with a single, and a 5-3 game had John Jay on the edge. A wild pitch moved the runners up, and a pair of fly balls made it a one run game.

Now at short, Storch picked up his relief by reaching first on a walk. Fassert wasn’t able to help himself, though.

The batted ball hit him out of the box, and the Lohud player of the week was forced to rely on his team. They didn’t let him down.

Rhodes’ grounder to third turned into a two base throwing error to first, and Russo’s grounder to short brought in Storch.

This left Arbogast doing a little math at the plate. “Two runs is great but three runs is better,” said the right fielder, and a single to right did just that.

Back to the mound for Fassert, he conceded the previous inning. “I wasn’t completely ready,” the senior admitted. “But after that, I knew I had to lock in.”

Making good, Fassert’s two strikeouts had the batters half baked. My slider, he said, “It gets crazy movement,” and multiple check swing strikes provided the proof.

Three outs to go, and Fassert again got two quick strikes on Nadler. More deja vu, the next two pitches were balls, and Lawrence came to the mound. “I just told them to calm down and take one pitch at a time,” he said.

Another check swing, and the leadoff batter was back on the bench. Still, there was no quit in Ciszewski, and he lined a single to left. But Civetta gobbled up a grounder to third for the force, and Fassert did the rest.

Another check swing strike ended the game, and Arbogast minimized the late game drama. “We knew we had to keep doing what we were doing - get base runners and hits,” he concluded. “That’s how we got to 7-4.”

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Rich Monetti

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  • Sweileh 8883 days ago

    Interesting and delicious content, keep posting more.

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