Kenmore- The St. Joe’s Marauders defeated their rival Canisius by a score of 5-2 Wednesday, sweeping the Crusaders in the opening round of the Georgetown Cup.
Leading the way for the Marauders was Senior Colin Miller who pitched 4 2/3 innings of stellar baseball. Miller faced his fair share of adversity early, allowing the first two batters of the game to reach base. The Marauder defense would limit the damage, with Michael Mazzara being the only Crusader to score a run.
In the second inning, Miller was able to work his way out of a bases-loaded situation, striking out the remainder of the Crusader batters keeping the score 1-0. “Out of anyone, Colin faced the greatest amount of adversity” Senior Cather Dennis Gagliardo said “He was able to deal with it in such a tremendous way. Colin was able to rebound when he was down in the count or walked a guy. He really helped propel us to the victory today.”
In the Marauder half of the second inning, William Carlone would double and later score on a Christian (CJ) Falk sacrifice fly making the score 1-1. More of the same would continue in the home half of the third inning as Andrew Short would score on a Gagliardo sac fly. The major St. Joe’s breakthrough came in the bottom of the fourth inning as Nicholas Falbo drove in Ryan Sutherland and Falk once again making the score 4-1. St. Joe’s would receive another insurance run from Renato Quiñones in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Senior Pitcher Matthew Colucci was called into action midway through the fifth inning and was tasked with closing out the remainder of the game for the Marauders. Colucci did a great job only allowing one Crusader hit in the final two innings of play. “There was no reason for me to be nervous,” Colucci said, “We had played well all day, and I was confident that I could get the job done.”
St. Joe’s Assistant Coach Bill Schukraft was pleased to see how the Marauders have played throughout the series. “The whole series they grinded a lot,” Schukraft said “Colin got deep into counts, we were able to get runners on base and our defense was extra sharp” Schukraft also noted that the Marauders have faced adversity all season, that has made the team stronger in the playoffs.
Gagliardo was overwhelmed with joy following the game “I have chills right now” Gagliardo said “We haven’t been in the finals since my freshman year, and to be here with this team, it just feels right. We’re ready to go out compete, and win a championship.”
The Marauders will battle St. Mary’s of Lancaster in game one of the Georgetown Cup Final at Coca-Cola Field with first pitch scheduled for 4:30 Monday.