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Molloy mauls Cardinal Hayes in second round

They listened. Boy, did they listen.

The Stanners...

By Dylan Butler

After cruising to a 14-0 win in the opening game of a best-of-three second-round CHSAA playoff series, legendary Molloy baseball coach Jack Curran stressed to his team the importance of a quick start.

They listened. Boy, did they listen.

The Stanners batted around twice and scored 11 runs on eight hits in the first inning of a 23-0 rout of Cardinal Hayes at St. John’s University Saturday morning.

That was more than enough run support for Matt Rizzotti, who also helped his own cause with six RBIs. The Manhattan-bound ace was pulled after Chris Lisboa ruined his no-hit bid with an infield single in the fourth inning.

“Coach said, ‘in the first inning, you guys should really just try, because you saw them last game, to jump on them and be aggressive with the bat,’” Rizzotti said. “In a game like this, it builds up everyone’s confidence.”

No. 5 Molloy (21-4) advances to the double-elimination round of the playoffs to face fourth-seeded Regis in a game slated for Wednesday. Cardinal Hayes ends its season at 12-14.

Rizzotti drove in Molloy’s first run with a sacrifice fly to center and then cleared the bases with a three-run double to right in his second at-bat of the first inning. Every player on the Stanners had at least one hit and scored at least once.

Joe Silvestri scored five runs, Balty Contreras drove in three runs, Pat Campbell scored three times and drove in two runs and even Matt Shelby, whose first at-bat was in the sixth inning, scored twice and drove in two runs.

“We have the potential to hit the ball pretty good. It’s just a matter of getting good pitches and getting a good swing on it,” Curran said. “The last couple of games they’ve been doing great.”

Molloy 14, Cardinal Hayes 0. University of Maryland-Baltimore County-bound Brian Duffy tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout, and Shaun Cheng and Chris Kaible each went 4-for-5 with a home run in the opening game of the series last Thursday at Stanner Field.

Mount St. Michael 6, St. Francis Prep 5. Mike Xifaras had three hits and drove in three runs, Jason Kaye drove in a run and Kevin Benway scored for St. Francis Prep (12-15), which led 5-2 with two out in the bottom of the fifth in the decisive third-game of the second-round series Sunday at Fordham University.

But led by Danny Muniz, who had two RBIs and some costly Prep errors, Mount St. Michael (14-8) rallied to score four runs to take the lead for good. The Mountaineers will play top-seeded Moore Catholic in a third-round game scheduled for Wednesday.

St. Francis Prep 7, Mount St. Michael 6. Kaye hit a two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift St. Francis Prep past Mount St. Michael in Game 2 at St. John’s University Saturday. Xifaras had a pair of triples and three RBIs, and Mike Aramento went the distance, allowing six runs — four earned — on 10 hits, striking out nine with no walks to force a decisive third game.

Mount St. Michael 5, St. Francis Prep 2. Gino Matias struck out 10 and did not allow an earned run, Cesar Garrido hit a two-run single in the Mountaineers’ four-run third inning, and Warren McGlarkner had a pair of doubles in the opening game of the series last Thursday at the Mount.

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

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