After Slow Start, New Rochelle Dirtbags Win 3 Straight

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New Rochelle Dirtbags - Justin Lewis

After a disappointing start to the season in which the Dirtbags fell to an 0-10 record, the team surged back this past week with three straight wins against divisional opponents.  New Rochelle was coming up just short all year, with five one run losses and a pair of two run defeats in heartbreaking fashion.  It was at no fault to the pitching staff, which after the first ten games was fourth in the league in ERA.

The rotation has been led by College of Saint Rose righthander Doug Dulin, who’s compiled a 2.38 earned run average with 18 strikeouts in 22.2 innings pitched.  Second year Dirtbag lefthander Mike Swerdloff of Brandeis University has also been impressive thus far, posting a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings.  Veteran Dave McCorison has been lights out through his first three starts, sporting a 1.59 ERA in 17 innings pitched.

Out of the bullpen, Fordham University righthander Ryan Fedak has thrived in the closing role on the team this year, and in 12.1 innings pitched he’s struck out 12 batters, walked two, and has a 2.19 ERA.

In their first win of the season Thursday night June 16th at Rumbrook Park in Greenburgh, the Dirtbags defeated the Rye Patriots 6-4.  McCorison threw five innings of one run baseball before rookie righthander Dean Lambert of Tufts University came on to strike out three batters in two innings of relief.  Ryan Fedak came on in the 8th to close the door with two hitless innings for the save.  The offensive highlight of the game was provided by SUNY Purchase rookie third baseman Sean Lafaye, who ripped an rbi double to deep centerfield off of Patriot reliever AJ Fagan to score Mike Ruzzo with the sixth run for the ‘Bags.

On Saturday, June 18th, the Dirtbags played their home opener at Salesian High School against the New Rochelle Tigers.  2010 WRWBL All Star and All Rookie Team member Pete Ladis of Iona College was extremely impressive for the ‘Bags.  The sophomore righthander threw five shut down innings in which he struck out seven and walked just one en route to a 12-2 mercy rule victory.  Brandeis University freshman Colin Markel was strong in two innings of relief, allowing no runs on three hits.

After a slow start to the season with the bats, the team banged out eleven hits on Saturday, including five that went for extra bases.  Among those to break out was rookie Nick Cutsumpas, a freshman catcher for Tufts University, who went 2-2 with a double, an rbi, and a run scored.  Second year outfielder Justin Sherman, who is committed to play next year at SUNY Purchase after two standout years at Westchester Community College, recorded a pair of hits, including a crushed rbi double deep off the right field fence in the 5th.  Catcher Tyler Rush reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances, going 1-1 with three walks and three runs scored.  Fairfield University centerfielder Mike Maschi recorded his second straight two hit performance, which included a deep blast to centerfield with the bases loaded for a three run triple.  Perhaps the biggest moment of the game came from first year Dirtbag Justin Lewis.  The New Rochelle native and sophomore at the College of Saint Rose blasted a three run bases clearing double in the 3rd inning which turned the momentum in favor of the Dirtbags and they never looked back.  Both Lewis and Maschi displayed great range in the outfield all day, snagging anything that was hit in their direction.  Jeff Sosis ripped a double in the 5th, while Greg Locke and Greg Valvano also posted hits in the team’s highest scoring performance this season.

The following day, the Dirtbags played a roller coaster game against the New York City Thunderdogs and came away with a 9-8 victory on Father’s Day at Salesian High School.  Mike Swerdloff threw six solid innings of one run ball and struck out five.  Shortstop Chris Mentrasti of Hofstra University drove a ball deep down the left field line for a two run double to get the Dirtbags off to an early lead in the third.  Justin Sherman posted two hits for the second day in a row, going 2 for 4.  Greg Valvano singled in the 7th before Nick Cutsumpas would lace a two rbi triple in an inning in which the team scored four runs.  Sean Lafaye continued to provide clutch hits, and he went 2 for 4 while driving in Cutsumpas for the final run of the 7th.  The ‘Bags would score three more runs in the 8th which featured singles by Justin Lewis and Kevin Coogan.  Then with two outs Greg Valvano ripped a sharp grounder that ate up the T-Dogs second baseman, scoring Lewis and Dean Lambert for the 8th and 9th runs for the ‘Bags.  Ryan Fedak came on to pitch the final two innings and earn his first win of the season.

The Dirtbags look to continue their hot streak Tuesday night in their first meeting with the Somers Cyclones at Peekskill Stadium.  First pitch is slated for 8 pm.