Tigers top Mahopac

By MIKE SMITH

 

Tom Muratore delivers a pitch against Mahopac in the Class A first round. Muratore surrendered two runs in the first inning, but settled in nicely after that.

Tom Muratore delivers a pitch against Mahopac in the Class A first round. Muratore surrendered two runs in the first inning, but settled in nicely after that.

Although the rain has wreaked havoc upon the Section I playoff schedule this spring, it hasn’t yet washed out Mamaroneck’s hopes for a Class AA crown.

With a win over Mahopac in the first round on May 23, the Tigers will continue their playoff push this week when the weather allows.

Coming into the tournament as a sixth seed, the Tigers faced a tough first round opponent in the Indians and their lefty ace Kevin Kernan, who carried a 5-1 record and 0.80 ERA into Thursday’s game. After Mahopac scored two runs off Tiger starter Tom Muratore in the first inning, though, Mamaroneck was able to bounce back and control the game from there, beating Mahopac 6-2.

“It was a tough draw for us and I didn’t like it,” Mamaroneck coach Mike Chiapparelli said afterward. “In my mind, that’s the toughest pitcher in the tournament.”

J.C. Ruggiero slides into home with Mamaroneck’s first run of the day against Mahopac. The Tigers scored six straight to advance to the quarterfinals.

J.C. Ruggiero slides into home with Mamaroneck’s first run of the day against Mahopac. The Tigers scored six straight to advance to the quarterfinals.

Muratore settled down after the first and held the Mahopac bats at bay, finishing the day with just four hits allowed. Richie Barrella helped lead the Mamaroneck comeback with a pair of RBIs on the day.

“I told the kids afterward how pleased I was with the way we played,” Chiapparelli said. “That could have been a 2-0 loss with that kid on the mound, but we made
them make outs.”

With the win, the Tigers advanced to quarterfinal play, where they were scheduled to take on familiar foe Fox Lane. The game, originally scheduled for May 24, was pushed back to May 27 due to cancelations.

The Foxes and Tigers have seen each other quite a bit over the last few years and Chiapparelli said he expects the second-round game to reflect that.

Anthony Pecora swings the bat against Mahopac on May 23.

Anthony Pecora swings the bat against Mahopac on May 23.

“They’re a great program; they’ve got a great coach,” he said. “They know they’re going to have to play a complete game to beat us, and we know we’re going to have to play a complete game to beat them.”

Should the Tigers beat Fox Lane, they will host a home playoff game on May 28 against the winner of the Carmel-Suffern game.

The section finals are scheduled for May 29.

Although the cancelations have left many teams wondering about pitching depth, Chiapparelli is confident that, between Muratore, Kumar Nambiar and a host of other pitchers, they should have the arms necessary to keep on playing.

“Some years, you can get away with having two or three guys,” he said. “This year, we know we’re going to need more, but we have three or four guys in relief who can do the job for us.”

CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com

J.C. Ruggiero connects with a pitch against the Indians. The Tigers play Fox Lane in the quarterfinals. Photos/Mike Smith

J.C. Ruggiero connects with a pitch against the Indians. The Tigers play Fox Lane in the quarterfinals. Photos/Mike Smith

 
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About Mike Smith

Mike Smith has been with Hometown Media Group since 2007, serving as the company’s Sports Editor. Mike has been commended for his work by the New York Press Association, winning awards in 2008 for “Best Sports Feature” and again in 2009 as part of a team that put together “The Game,” a breakdown of the Harrison-Rye football rivalry, which won for “Best Special Section.” His weekly column, “Live Mike,” offers his unique insights into a broad range of topics in the sports world. He resides in Eastchester, N.Y. and spends most of his free time serving as the player-manager for a competitive men’s baseball team in New York City. Reach Mike at 914-653-1000 x22 or sports@hometwn.com; follow him on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports.