Mick Regan said Fordham Prep needed to make a statement Sunday night and prove its seven-game winning streak out of the gate wasn’t a fluke.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh of a tied game against a St. Raymond team that also had won seven in a row, the Rams center fielder did just that with a 90-foot sprint to home plate.
Regan tagged up to score the winning run on Vinny Capone’s sacrifice fly to left field as the Rams rallied three times from one-run deficits to beat St. Raymond, 4-3, at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Staten Island.
“I’ve never been in a situation that big in my entire life,” Regan said.
The game, played at the scenic home of the Staten Island Yankees and broadcast by MSG Varsity, lived up to its advanced billing. In a highly anticipated clash of the hottest teams in the CHSAA, both sent an ace to the mound – Anthony Colon for St. Raymond and Sean McNamara for Fordham Prep.
McNamara was the more consistent pitcher, going the distance to improve to 3-0 on the season. The lanky junior allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out three with no walks.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s definitely tense,” McNamara said of the pitchers duel. “You go on the dugout and think let’s get a run across and when we don’t, you go back out there and think I can’t let a run across. Who doesn’t like close games?”
Colon didn’t give up a hit until Zach Leone’s one-out single up the middle in the fourth inning. He allowed four runs on three hits, striking out four with four walks, including a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Mahoney that tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the seventh.
Neither pitcher had much defensive support with a combined eight errors.
“I think Anthony deserved a better fate today,” St. Ray’s coach Marc DeLuca said. “We made four errors, a couple of mental mistakes and at the end we’re still up one. You just can’t give a good team four or five outs in an inning.”
St. Raymond (7-3) got on the scoreboard in the second as catcher Leo Bravo led off with a double to right and the run scored on a groundout to second by Julian Monserrate.
After Steve Fondu’s RBI-groundout to third scored Jack Sexton to tie the score at 1 in the fourth, the Ravens capitalized on one of Fordham’s four errors to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Sexton, though, singled to center, scoring Andrew Velazquez with the tying run in the bottom of the sixth.
“Every time they answered the bell, which was nice,” Deane said. “I was happy to see that…I’m really happy to come out of here with a win.”
Hot-hitting David Sanchez led off the top of the seventh with a double to left and pinch-running Erickson Bueno scored on Joshua Vargas’ single up the middle through the Rams’ drawn-in infield as the Ravens once again had a one-run lead.
But Fordham Prep (8-0), ranked No. 7 in New York City by MSG Varsity, wouldn’t be denied. The Rams loaded the bases with one out as Robbie Lynch reached on an error, Regan singled to left and Velazquez reached on catcher’s interference.
“I went down looking the last at-bat,” Regan said. “I knew I had to come up big for my team and I followed through. I had to be very smart on the bases.”
Colon then walked Mahoney on five pitches to tie the game and Capone followed with a fly ball to medium left field.
Regan said there was some confusion on the play because Deane, who coaches third base, initially told him to stay on the bag. But once Adam DeLaCruz made the catch, Deane told Regan to take off.
The relay home was perfect and appeared to beat Regan to the plate, but Bravo couldn’t hold onto the ball. Fordham Prep players blasted out of the dugout, first to mob Regan at the plate and then to celebrate Capone’s game-winning RBI.
“Vinny has been stroking the ball all year,” McNamara said. “He’s been getting big hits time after time. He’s the guy we want up in that situation and he came through.”
So did Fordham Prep under the bright lights of Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
“This is where legends are born…There’s nothing better than this,” McNamara said of the stadium with stunning views of the New York City skyline. “Pitching on a great field, under the lights, Sunday night, on TV, it’s great.”
Contact Dylan Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org
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