Momentum swung LaSalle’s way quickly, and Dom Razzano never let Schenectady get it back.
LaSalle scored four runs in the first inning, Razzano gave up five singles in a complete game and the Cadets kept the Patriots reeling with a 7-1 Big 10 victory Friday at Central Park’s Buck Ewing Field.
LaSalle won its third straight contest and sent Schenectady to its third consecutive defeat. It was a tough week for the Patriots after they began league play with two-game sweeps of Albany and Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons.
“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot, little by little,” said Schenectady coach John Isabella, whose Patriots dropped two in a row to Christian Brothers Academy before Friday’s setback. “Hopefully, we can change it Monday. We need it. We need something.”
LaSalle had plenty of everything, scoring its four runs in a six-batter sequence and then adding on while Razzano sifted through the Schenectady’s lineup on a cold, blustery day.
“You can’t make it complicated when it’s cold like this. I just wanted to throw strikes,” said the junior righty after evening his record at 1-1. “I wasn’t doing anything fancy. I wanted to get outs and get warm between innings.”
“We were a little off today, but hats off to him,” said Isabella. “You’ve got to give him credit. The kid threw a good game.”
Razzano struck out three and walked two in going the distance, and gave up an unearned run in the second inning. LaSalle (5-2, 7-3) got it back in the third and added another run in both the fifth and sixth.
Avery Wilkinson and Chris Carmel both hit a pair of run-scoring singles for the Cadets, Kyle Sacks hit an RBI single, and Will McMullen had two singles, three stolen bases and three runs scored. McMullen raced home on a suicide squeeze by Justin Obercon to cap the first-inning uprising, and those four runs were more than enough for the fast-working Razzano.
“The last few games, our pitchers have been throwing strikes. In both of our losses to Catholic Central, we beat ourselves with too many walks,” said LaSalle coach Jesse Braverman, whose Cadets bounced back from those two setbacks by topping Bishop Gibbons twice. “Pitching is such an important part of the game. If it’s good, you always have a chance to win.”
Razzano got Schenectady on three infield popouts and seven outfield flies as part of his gem.
“We did pop a lot of balls up,” said Isabella. “I don’t know if it was his movement or what.”
“He threw a great game,” McMullen, a senior left fielder, said of his teammate. “He kept it in the strike zone.”
Razzano gave up four hits through the first six innings. LaSalle had that many hits after its opening at-bat, with a single by Zach Remillard, a walk and RBI singles by Sacks and Wilkinson making it a 2-0 game.
“LaSalle came ready to play,” said Isabella. “They put guys in motion. They came out swinging. It’s always a challenge when we play them.”
Sacks was cut down at third base after Wilkinson’s single, and Wilkinson took second on the play. After McMullen singled him to third, they pulled off a double steal for a run and McMullen moved up on a high throw to home plate. Obercon then dropped down his run-scoring bunt.
“It was huge to jump out to a big lead,” said McMullen. “We were hoping to do that.”
“Schenectady was playing good baseball. Their last two games with CBA were competitive, and they won four in a row before that,” said Braverman. “Getting off to a good start can’t be overstated.”
Carmel hit RBI singles off Schenectady starter Zach Porto in the third and fifth innings, and Wilkinson drove in his second run off reliever Greg Dobies in the sixth.
Schenectady (4-3, 4-4) got its run in the second on a walk, two-out singles by Jeremy Kent and Javar Tillman, and an error by Carmel. The second baseman regrouped after bobbling Gabe Viscariello’s grounder, and fired home to nail Kent, keeping the score 4-1.
Viscariello and Porto hit one-out singles in the fifth and Razzano escaped the minor jam with a flyout and a strikeout.
Schenectady plays Ballston Spa today in Cooperstown before a return engagement with LaSalle Monday.
“One of these days, we’re going to turn it on,” said Isabella.
LaSalle 401 011 0 — 7 8 3
Schenectady 010 000 0 — 1 5 3
Razzano and Sacks; Porto, Dobies (6) and Patierne.