CROSS RIVER, N.Y.— John Jay-Cross River’s baseball team took a No. 13 seed into its Section 1 Class A outbracket round game against visiting No. 20 Yonkers on May 17.
The Indians made sure that they would get off to a hot start as they scored the first four runs of the game in the opening inning, igniting it to an 8-1 victory.
John Jay senior center fielder Chris Orifici thought it was important for the Indians to set the tone early against the Bulldogs.
“Getting out to a quick start with the bats and putting up some runs in the bottom of the first is definitely key to coming out on top,” Orifici said. “It sort of sets the tone for what the flow of the game is going to look like so it’s big for team morale to do that.”
Orifici had a solid day at the plate by going 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored.
John Jay senior first baseman Greg Patti helped Orifici lead the charge offensively by going 3 for 3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
“It felt great to put a few good swings together today,” Patti said. “As a team we’ve been making an effort to get more work in going to the cages before school every day and I’m excited to see the results.”
Orifici was very impressed with how Patti hit against Yonkers and all season for that matter.
“Greg has been a great piece of this team all year and it’s great to see him hitting so well come playoff time,” Orifici said. “Today he was seeing the ball really well and doing a great job of staying on top of it and hitting line drives.”
Putting in an impressive performance on the mound was winning pitcher Greg Esposito.
In five innings of work, he allowed just three hits while striking out five and giving up only two walks.
“Greg did a great job of locating both his fastball and his off-speed pitches today while attacking hitters,” Patti said. “His competitiveness and composure have been great all year and we have a lot of confidence in him every time he gets on the mound.”
Brett Paulsen also had a multi-hit game for the Indians, going 2 for 4 with a double, run and an RBI.
Brendan Carberry added two scoreless innings in relief, allowing just two hits and no walks while striking out three.
After taking the early lead, John Jay didn’t rest on its laurels, scoring two more runs in the second and answered Yonkers’ lone run in the third with two more in the fourth.
“Our mindset is to keep our foot on the gas pedal the entire game,” Patti said. “This is something our coaches have told us for years and the team has really bought into it.”
John Jay (10-10-1) won its regular-season finale with a 5-4 victory against visiting Tappan Zee on May 14 in eight innings.
Joe Biancone and Paulsen led the Indians with three and two hits, respectively. Biancone got the win, tossing two innings of two-hit relief while striking out five.