The St. Joseph's College of Brooklyn Bears scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge the Albertus Magnus baseball team 7-6 in the Falcons' 2013 season opener on Saturday afternoon.
With a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Falcons' pitching staff gave up five walks to help the Bears tally four runs in the frame for the walk-off win. With the bases loaded, the Bears' Joe Mendez forced a walk to allow the game-winning run to score to give St. Joseph's their first victory of the season.
Sophomore Mike Barillaro (Meriden, Conn.) earned the nod on the hill for the Falcons and went eight innings, while striking out nine and walking two batters. Barillaro walked the lead-off batter in the ninth before leaving the game with a 6-3 lead.
Patrick Dornfried (Berlin, Conn.) took the mound with no outs in the ninth and gave-up a single before walking the bases loaded. A walk to St. Joseph's Brian Luebcke plated another run for the Bears as they cut the Falcons' lead to two at 6-4. A fielder's choice and a muffed throw by the Falcon infield allowed another run to score before Kevin Diaz walked with the bases loaded to tie the game at six.
Nick Sedia (Bronx, N.Y.) moved from second base to the mound before Mendez walked to force the game-winning run across the plate to give St. Joseph's the come-from-behind victory.
The Falcons got on the scoreboard first with a solo home run by senior Robert Gambardella (North Haven, Conn.) as he connected on the long ball in his first at-bat of the 2013 season. In the bottom of the frame, St. Joseph's tallied two runs as the Bears registered three consecutive hits, including an RBI single by Vinny Rossi.
The Falcons put together a four-run fourth inning as Anthony Pellegrino (Branford, Conn.) drew a lead-off walk before moving to second on a single by newcomer Jack Pritchard (Orange, Conn.). Shane Osborn (Lake Worth, Fla.) walked the bases loaded before freshman Michael Anastasio (East Haven, Conn.) recorded a bases clearing double to centerfield. Anastasio later scored on a base hit from Sedia.
The Falcons later added a run on a Justin Poirier (Meriden, Conn.) sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Pritchard finished the contest 2-for-4, while Anastasio added one hit, three RBI and a walk. Sedia registered a 3-for-4 performance for the Falcons as well.
St. Joseph's Paul Piccirillo earned the win as the Bears threw four pitchers in today's game. Danny Pagano started for the Bears as he threw 5.1 innings, while allowing eight hits and six runs.
Albertus returns to action on Sunday, March 3 as the Falcons head back to Baseball Heaven in Yaphank for a double-header against the Bears beginning at noon.