Rams Open Skyline Schedule with Split Versus USMMA

Junior shortstop Shawn Blasberg catching the ball at the second base bag.
Shawn Blasberg

Farmingdale, N.Y. - On Saturday afternoon, the Farmingdale State baseball team opened their Skyline Conference schedule with a doubleheader versus United States Merchant Marine Academy and fell in the first game, 5-2, in 13 innings, before earning a walk-off win in the second, 2-1. 

After Rams' (8-5, 1-1 Skyline) senior Matthew Constantine (West Babylon, N.Y.) pitched a scoreless top of the first in game one, FSC scored two runs in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back RBI singles by junior right fielder Vincent Rice (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) and junior first baseman Steven Burke (North Babylon, N.Y.). 

The game remained 2-0 until the fourth inning when the Mariners (8-6, 1-1 Skyline) used a sacrifice fly to cut their deficit to just one. USMMA was able to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh with three straight two out singles.

Neither team scored over the final two innings as the game went into extra innings. 

After both teams combined for just one hit over the next three innings, the Mariners hit a pair of singles in the 13th inning to set up first and third. With two outs in the inning, USMMA sophomore shortstop Colin Baker (Clyde Hill, Wash.) recorded a two-run double to put Merchant Marine ahead 4-2. The Mariners added a run on a Jessie Reinebold (Sagamihara, Japan) single to take a three-run advantage heading into the bottom of the inning. 

After the Rams opened the bottom of the 13th with two singles, Marchant Marine's Kyle Cunningham (Panama City Beach, Fla.) (Sv, 4) forced a fielder's choice and a double play to earn the save and secure the game one victory, 5-2. 

Rice and Burke were both 2-for-6 with an RBI in the loss.

For the Mariners, Baker recorded four hits, two runs batted in and one run scored, while Reinebold was 3-for-6 with a walk and an RBI. Sophomore Andrew Hunt (Severna Park, Md.) (2-0) earned the victory after pitching three perfect innings in relief.

In the third inning of the second game, Merchant Marine broke the scoreless tie with an RBI single by sophomore first baseman Vincenzo Alteri (Watertown, N.Y.) to score Baker.

Neither team would record another hit in the game until the bottom of the seventh. With two outs in the inning, junior left fielder Vincent Napolitano (Bellmore, N.Y.) reached second base on a dropped fly ball error. The next batter, senior third baseman Jason Conti (Mount Sinai, N.Y.), tallied an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1 to send the game into extras. 

Still knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Burke led off with a single and sophomore catcher Ryan DePalma (Albertson, N.Y.) followed with an infield single to put runners on first and second. After a pinch-hit, sacrifice bunt by sophomore Cam Alfano (Yaphank, N.Y.), junior second baseman Tyler Schrimpf (Miller Place, N.Y.) drove in the game-winning run on a fielder's choice, sac bunt to give FSC the 2-1 walk-off win.

Conti finished 1-for-3 with a walk and one run batted in, while senior shortstop Shawn Blasberg (Sound Beach, N.Y.) had one hit. Burke, who was 1-for-3 with the game-winning run, pitched seven innings of one-run ball and struck out seven. Junior Anthony Visconte (East Islip, N.Y.) (2-1) earned his second win of the season after not allowing a run in the final two innings.

USMMA senior pitcher Andrew Spinnenweber (Pasadena, Md.) did not get a decision but tossed eight innings, while only allowing two hits and striking out 13.