A matchup between two of the most prominent baseball programs in the area turned into a battle of the bullpens on Tuesday, as Rye hosted Mamaroneck in a non-league affair. In the end, it was a sharp relief performance by Sean Hale and a three-run fifth inning that proved the difference-maker, as the Garnets topped the Tigers 4-1.
Hale picked up the win for Rye, tossing four innings of one-run baseball after coming on for starter Sean Thompson, as the Garnets improved to 7-0-1 on the season. Peter Ferraro, who entered a tie game in the bottom of the fifth inning, surrendered three runs and was saddled with the loss.
“Sometimes we start the game slow, but we knew we were going to need to start fast today and bring the intensity,” Hale said. “It takes us a while to adjust, but like you saw, once we get on them, we get on them.”
Rye drew first blood in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Alex Noga, but the Tigers roared back in the top of the fifth when Max Bohn singled in Chris Watroba to knot the score at 1-1.
The Garnets answered back with three runs in the bottom half of the frame on a rally that started when Thompson ripped a first-pitch offering from Ferraro to bring around a runner from second base. Rye would go on to cross the plate twice more in the inning to put the game effectively out of reach.
“We had bunted him over into scoring position,” Thompson said. “And I knew I couldn’t leave him out there on second base.”
Tuesday’s game kicked off an important week for the two ballclubs, as both squads will now turn their attentions to a pair of games against bitter league rivals. The Tigers will begin a two-game set with Scarsdale on April 25, after press time, while the Garnets get set for two matchups with Harrison, which will conclude with the annual Andrew Gurgitano Memorial Game on April 28 at Silver Lake Park in West Harrison.
According to Hale, earning a win against Mamaroneck will send the Garnets into their showdown against the Huskies with some much-needed momentum.
“It’s always a big game against Harrison, those are the most fun two games of the season,” he said. “Everyone’s into it, everyone brings the most energy, and starting the week strong was really important for us.”