By Robert Cole
The Molloy baseball team failed to right the ship against Regis, falling to 2-6 on the season after dropping a closely contested game under the bright lights in the Bronx, 4-3.
Molloy, who have now lost five games by two runs or less, couldn’t hold a late lead against Regis at SUNY Maritine Sunday night.
The Stanners had taken a lead three different times throughout the game, but gave it right back to the home team each time. In fact, each time Molloy took a lead, Regis scored in the bottom of the same inning.
“Good teams don’t do that,” Molloy coach Brad Lyons said. “Good teams take the lead and then they get a shut-down inning.”
The Molloy pitching staff struggled to throw strikes in key situations, which proved to be the team’s demise. All four of Regis’ runs were a result of walks. Four of the five Regis batters who walked came around to score.
“When you give guys free bases in high school baseball, it always comes back to bite you,” Lyons said.
Matthew Laya-Vestell started the scoring for the Stanners, working out a lead-off walk in the first inning. He came around to score on an error by the Regis defense. While Laya-Vestell scored on the error, Adam Mustafic was thrown out at the plate on the same play, marking the end of the top half of the first.
In the bottom of the inning, Regis used a lead-off walk to start a rally of their own. Luca Trigiani scored later in the inning following two Molloy errors to knot the score at 1-1.
After a scoreless second, Molloy squandered a golden opportunity in the third. Dillon Kim led off the inning with a well-hit double to deep center, but was picked off second base for the first out. Christopher Ewing and Laya-Vetell followed with consecutive walks.
Anthony Cipri hit what looked to be a run-scoring extra-base hit, but the ball landed just foul down the right field line. Cipri was retired, but Adam Mustafic followed with a double that looked like it would clear the bases. Ewing scored with ease, but Laya-Vestell tripped over second base and only made it to third on the play. Molloy would not score another run in the inning, but had reclaimed the lead, 2-1.
Regis tied the score at 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning, but Molloy took a 3-2 lead when Mustafic’s second RBI double of the game plated Cipri in the fifth.
That advantage was short-lived, however, as Regis rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning to secure a 4-3 lead that would prove to be the final score.
While Lyons was pleased with his team’s effort, he said his pitchers need to throw more strikes and the defense needs to make fewer errors on the field.
“Outs have to be outs,” Lyons said. “We can’t give teams extra opportunities to score.”