By Christian Klimaszewski
The LIU Post baseball team continued its success with a 17-2 record in the East Coast Conference and 26-12 overall, with three wins over the Molloy Lions. “We’re having great team chemistry this year. Our pitching and hitting have been working strong together to win us games,” Mike Manzione, LIU Post’s senior infielder, said.
On Thursday, April 18, it was a close game until the sixth inning when Molloy put up the first run, but the Pioneers quickly answered back with a run of their own to tie the game on a Giovanni Ciaccio RBI.
After Molloy reclaimed the lead at the end of the seventh inning, making the score 2-1, LIU Post junior first baseman Zach Fritz delivered a three-run homerun giving the Pioneers a 4-2 lead. The Pioneers added to the lead with RBIs from Manzione and sophomore outfielder Jahsiah Greene. “Guys coming in clutch, hitting home runs or getting on base so the next man up can drive them in has also helped,” Manzione said.
Senior pitcher James Varela earned his seventh win of the season, striking out five batters and only allowing two earned runs, and pitching eight innings. “He has a lot of power, throws hard, and has an unbelievable slider,” Manzione said about the team’s pitcher.
The game ended 7-2 in favor for the Pioneers.
On Saturday, April 20, the Pioneers had a doubleheader home game schedule, but due to weather conditions, it was moved to Molloy’s Mitchell Field in Rockville Center, which is turf field as opposed to the Pioneers’ grass field. “It doesn’t have an effect where we play, but we do miss playing at home,” Manzione said. “A lot of teams in the conference play on turf, so when we play at home on grass, other teams struggle with ground balls and reading hops,” he said.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Pioneers took an early lead, scoring five runs in the first two innings, and they didn’t look back. RBIs came from Fritz, senior infielder Rey Guillen, junior outfielder Andy Camilo, senior catcher Anthony Vaglica, and sophomore shortstop Chris Wasson. Junior pitcher Noah Lorenzo pitched a complete nine inning game, earning his sixth win of the season. “Lorenzo is very crafty, which makes it so difficult to hit off him,” Manzione said. “He has a great change-up which keeps hitters on their front foot and will come hard inside with his fastball.” The Pioneers won the first game with a score of 8-1.
In game two, Molloy jumped ahead, 2-0, in the beginning of the third inning. The Pioneers climbed back, evening the score to 2-2 when Wasson scored on a wild pitch and Guillen knocked in an RBI. The Pioneers took the lead when Vaglica hit a towering homerun over the left field fence, making the score 3-2, which became the final result of the game. Junior pitcher Mike Stiles pitched a complete seven inning game, along with an eight-strikeout performance.
The Pioneers look to continue their dominance in the ECC as they take on rival NYIT this weekend in a Battle of the Boulevard match. Game one of the series is set for 3 p.m. Friday, April 26 at LIU Post.
This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.