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McGuinness McHomers for McClancy

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As he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning, the senior designated hitter was 0-for-3 with...

By Dylan Butler

For much of Monday’s pivotal CHSAA baseball game against St. Francis Prep, John McGuinness was just one of several frustrated McClancy players.

As he stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning, the senior designated hitter was 0-for-3 with a walk. He struck out looking twice and stranded two of the Crusaders’ 11 men left on base.

But that all changed with one swing of the aluminum as McGuinness belted a game-winning two-run home run to lift McClancy to a 4-2 win at home.

“I knew that I had to come through because my teammates gave me an opportunity to get up again in a situation like that,” McGuinness said. “I could have done something a little earlier but I’m glad I came through for the team.”

With Steve Kroski on first after reaching on a leadoff walk, McGuinness crushed a Thomas Velez fastball into the wind and over the center field fence to end the game and ignite a wild celebration as McClancy took the season series from St. Francis Prep and crept to within a game of the fourth-place Terriers.

“You don’t know how hard that ball is really hit to get out of here,” said McClancy coach Nick Melito. “That ball is crushed. That ball on a normal day is across the street somewhere.”

McClancy (9-9, 6-7 CHSAA) used the long ball to tie the game as well on a solo homer to right-center field by Randy White in the fifth inning.

The sophomore rightfielder put the Crusaders in front 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI-ground out to short, and Alex Pinto responded with a two-run single to center in the fourth to give St. Francis Prep (10-6, 6-6) the lead.

In the bottom of the third McClancy loaded the bases with no outs, but Danny Lopez was thrown out at home by Kevin Benway on a fly out to right and Terriers’ starter Rob Casal struck out Kroski to end the inning.

The sophomore hurler was solid, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and three walks through seven innings.

McClancy threatened to end the game in the bottom of the seventh, but with runners at first and third with one out, Casal struck out Vinny Johnson and got White to ground back to the mound.

St. Francis Prep also had numerous chances to break the deadlock, but with runners at first and second in the sixth, McClancy starter Rob Gorvetzian got Pinto to fly out to center to end the inning.

In the seventh inning the Terriers had runners on the corners, but cleanup hitter Mike Xiafaras, who hit a home run off the scoreboard in center the last time the two teams played at McClancy April 23, flew out to left.

St. Francis Prep again threatened in the 10th but with runners at second and third and one out, Jason Kaye and Pinto both popped out in the infield.

“We had a couple of chances,” said St. Francis Prep coach Bro. Robert Kent. “From the seventh inning on we had guys (in scoring position), but we didn’t get a big hit.”

McClancy received stellar pitching from starter Gorvetzian (two earned runs on 10 hits, four strikeouts and no walks in six innings) and Danny Sanabria and Jeff Tavares, who combined to pitch four innings of two-hit relief.

Holy Trinity 9, Archbishop Molloy 5. Keith Kenney’s double tied the game in the seventh, and Chris Chiarappa scored on Donnie Dlabola’s RBI single in a four-run eighth inning for Holy Trinity (18-3). Molloy falls to 13-4 overall.

Xaverian 14, Christ the King 2. Chris Garcia had two hits and four RBIs, and John Gennouai struck out eight in five innings for Xaverian (12-4, 9-2), while Christ the King falls to 0-11.

St. Anthony’s 8, Holy Cross 5. Dennis Maxim hit a two-run home run in a four-run first inning, and Ryan Hoffmann struck out eight with one walk to earn the non-league win for St. Anthony’s, while Holy Cross falls to 5-10 overall.

Archbishop Molloy 11, St. Francis Prep 10. Matt Rizzotti hit a pair of mammoth two-run home runs, Shaun Cheng went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, and Pat Campbell drove in the winning run as Molloy (9-2 CHSAA) rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

McClancy 3, Christ the King 2. Johnson was 2-for-3, drove in the tying run and scored the winning run on a fielder's choice.

Holy Cross 5, McClancy 3. Kevin Ogletree’s RBI single capped a five-run sixth inning, and Brendan Daly added a triple for Holy Cross (3-8 CHSAA), which beat St. Francis Prep and McClancy in back-to-back days.

Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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