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Iona pitcher tosses no-no against Prep

There wasn’t much St. Francis Prep head coach Bro. Robert Kent could say after his team was no-hit by Iona Prep’s Nick Stanziani Monday afternoon in a CHSAA playoffs game at The Ballpark at St. John’s.

The 8-0 loss puts Prep in a no-lose situation against the winner of the Xavier-St. Raymond’s match-up. A defeat ends the Terriers’ season, while a victory will force St. Francis to defeat Iona Prep twice in order to advance.

“We didn’t hit,” Kent said. “Iona came out attacking the ball. We gave them a couple of chances early and they took advantage of it.”

Stanziani was by no means blowing the Prep lineup away, but he mixed up his pitches just enough to never let the Terriers get comfortable. And when a St. Francis player did get good wood on the ball, the Iona Prep defense was there to make the play.

“When we started hitting, we hit it right at them,” Kent said. “They still made the plays. You got to give them credit.”

St. Francis managed to move runners into scoring position in both the first and second innings, taking advantage of four walks and an error to threaten. But Stanziani worked out of the trouble each time.

The Terriers managed just two more walks, one in the third and one in the sixth off Stanziani the rest of the way.

Iona Prep, meanwhile, had little trouble roughing up St. Francis starter Mark Foris, who gave up two earned runs and three unearned runs over the first two innings to put Prep in a 5-0 hole. The big blow was a two-run double by Greg DiFalco in the second.

Foris was tagged with three more runs in the fifth, giving up an RBI double to Peter DeOrtentiis and a run-scoring triple by P.J. Zocchi. After Foris was pulled in favor of Mark Burik, Zocchi scored on a single by Shamus Bartnett.

“They’re the best hitting team we’ve seen so far,” Kent said of Iona, which managed 11 hits. “We have to come back.

St. Francis drops to 20-9 overall with the loss. Iona Prep, now 21-4, will play the winner of Archbishop Molloy-St. Joseph by the Sea.

Archbishop Molloy 7, St. Raymond’s 3. Matt Rizzotti picked up the win for the Stanners, striking out seven through five innings, but he also did some damage at the plate, smacking two hits and driving in two. Senior catcher Nick Derba also had a solid game, picking up three hits and three RBIs. Molloy was slated to play St. Joseph by the Sea Tuesday.

St. Francis Prep 7, Moore Catholic 4. Dan Weinman and Joe Ivazes combined to scatter eight hits and lead St. Francis Prep over Moore Catholic Friday. Stephen Eng and Pete Mazzurco both contributed two hits in the win.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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