Alfano's Game-Winning Hit Leads Rams in Extra-Innings

Cam Alfano standing at the plate, awaiting the pitch
Cam Alfano

#1 Farmingdale State - 5, #2 Merchant Marine - 4  (F/12)

Farmingdale, N.Y. - Tied 4-4 with one out in the top of the 12th, Farmingdale State's Cam Alfano (Yaphank, N.Y.) executed a squeeze bunt to score Tyler Schrimpf (Miller Place, N.Y.) and put the Rams ahead by one. Top-seeded FSC held on for the 5-4 victory over #2 Merchant Marine in the Skyline Conference Baseball Championship this afternoon.

In the top of the third, FSC (31-7) senior shortstop Shawn Blasberg (Sound Beach, N.Y.) led off with a single and advanced to second on a Jimmy Mattera (West Islip, N.Y.) ground out. In the next at-bat, junior center fielder Vincent Napolitano (Bellmore, N.Y.) hit an RBI double to right center to put the Rams out in front, 1-0. Two batters later, sophomore catcher Michael Amandola's (North Babylon, N.Y.) 2 RBI triple to right center increased the advantage to 3-0.

With one out in the top of the fifth, Mattera tripled to right center and came around to score on a Napolitano sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the fifth, USMMA (28-10) junior shortstop Matt Mundorf (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) led off with an infield single and moved to second on a Tyler Mowry (Peachtree City, Ga.) single to left field. After a Mariners' fly out, sophomore second baseman Colin Baker (Clyde Hill, Wash.) hit an RBI double down the right field line to cut the deficit to 4-1. Freshman center fielder Garrett Aichele (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) followed with a sac fly to right to score Mowry and pull Merchant Marine within two, 4-2.

Junior first baseman Vincenzo Alteri (Watertown, N.Y.) opened the bottom of the eighth inning with a single to right. After a strikeout, sophomore designated hitter Alex Mesaros (Pittsburgh, Penn.) hit an infield single to put runners on first and second with one out. FSC senior pitcher Matthew Constantine (West Babylon, N.Y.) forced a line out to third and caught the runner straying too far from second base for the inning-ending double play.

The Mariners led off the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back singles and loaded the bases on a one out single to first base by Aichele. Merchant Marine tied the game at 4-4 in their next at-bat after a 2 RBI single up the middle by senior left fielder Jesse Reinebold (Sagamihara, Japan). Senior pitcher Ryan Mallon (Deer Park, N.Y.) entered in relief and retired the next two batters to send the game to extra-innings.

Junior third baseman Morgan McCarthy (Oceanside, N.Y.) led off the top of the 12th with a single to left and moved to second on a Jason Conti (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) pinch hit bunt single. After a Blasberg sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Schrimpf was intentionally walked to load the bases. In the next at-bat, Alfano's bunt single on the squeeze play gave the Rams a 5-4 advantage.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Mariners had runners on first and third with one out but Mallon forced a foul out and ground out to seal the victory for the Rams.

For Farmingdale State, nine different players had one hit. Napolitano was 1-for-4 with a double, run scored, stolen base and 2 RBI, while Amandola went 1-for-5 at the plate with a triple and two runs batted in. Mallon earned the win after pitching the final 3.2 innings allowing two hits and striking out six. Constantine tossed 8.1 innings and allowed four runs in the victory.

Mundorf led the way for Merchant Marine with a game-high three hits.

The Rams advance to Skyline Championship Game 8 tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. Farmingdale State will square off against the winner of #2 Merchant Marine/#3 Old Westbury, while the loser of that game is eliminated from the championship.