HRs Power Bears Past LuHi on Senior Day

Babaev in action earlier this season (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Yesterday afternoon, the baseball team closed the 2020-21 athletic year with a 7-2 non-league win over the newly-minted PSAA Champions, Long Island Lutheran.

Justin Porrino took the mound for the final time in his career and battled back in each of the first two at bats to induce groundouts after falling behind in the count, 3-0. With two outs and nobody on, LuHi’s third batter turned on the first pitch he saw and delivered it over the left field wall to stake the visitors to a 1-0 lead. A pair of singles followed, but Porrino settled down to limit the damage with a pop out to first base. In the home half of the 1st, the Bears immediately struck back for four runs to forge a lead they would not give up. Lee Santiago earned a leadoff walk and Porrino reached on an error when the catcher dropped an infield pop up. The pair then moved up a base on a double steal before Santiago scored easily on a double by Tyler Smith. A Sebastian Perez groundout plated Porrino with a 2-1 lead and Aaron Babaev followed with a double as the Brook extended the edge to 3-1. Logan Charboneau roped a single to left field to score another run as the Bears took a 4-1 lead into the 2nd.

In the top of the 2nd, Porrino worked a 1-2-3 inning on just 11 pitches to bring the offense back to the plate. Santiago was again the leadoff hitter, after the Bears batted around in the 1st, and reached on a single in a 3-2 count. Porrino then dug in and helped his own cause when he struck the third pitch of the at-bat over the left field wall for a two-run homer to extend the home lead to 6-1.

In the top of the 3rd, Porrino allowed singles to the first two runners, but Jayden Stroman and Santiago combined on a fielder’s choice groundout before Santiago fired to third base to nab an overzealous LuHi baserunner as the Bears notched an unorthodox 4-6-5 double play. Another single followed, but a fly out to center ended the threat. In the home half, Charboneau launched the first pitch of the inning to left-center and over the wall as the Bear advantage grew to 7-1.

Porrino needed just three pitches to get through the fourth, despite giving up a leadoff single. The other two pitches of the inning led to three outs as the second batter lined into an 8-3 double play and the third batter was retired on the next pitch on another lineout to center. Though the Bears would not muster any more offense over the final three innings, the defense ensured the lead was safe. Santiago relieved Porrino in the 5th and notched a 1-2-3 inning. Jojo Franco pitched the 6th and worked around a one-out error with a pair of strikeouts, and Tim Wozny gave up a run in the 7th but slammed the door with a bases loaded strikeout to end the game.

Porrino earned the win with 1 earned run and 2 strikeouts over 4.0 innings and led the way at the plate with 2 hits and 2 RBIs. Charboneau added a pair of RBIs and Smith, Perez, and Babaev each notched an RBI as the Bears prevailed in the first baseball match-up between the programs.



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