After dropping four of its first five Conference A-I baseball games by a combined seven runs, South Side found a way to win a close one last Friday when it defeated Jericho, 4-2, at Barasch Field in a game postponed by rain three days earlier.
The Cyclones broke a tie in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run rally, capped by junior Vin Frankini’s RBI single for a 4-1 lead. Senior Dan Iavarone pitched his second straight gem this spring, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out four. Junior catcher Joe Barrett erased four runners attempting to steal, and junior Sal Miranda pitched the seventh for a save.
“It’s a big morale booster,” coach Tom Smith said of the victory that avoided a three-game sweep. “We got beat by a great pitcher in the series opener and created our own problems in the second game. Our emotion and intensity came out in the third game.”
Iavarone, thrust into the starting rotation due to Miranda’s sore elbow, worked some innings in relief a year ago and was a JV starting pitcher in 2012. His first outing was just as impressive, Smith said, when he beat Wantagh, 7-1, and allowed six hits in six innings. “Dan’s making key pitches and finding ways to get out of any jam he’s in,” Smith explained. “He’s not a power pitcher, but he does a great job of keeping the ball around the plate and hasn’t allowed teams to string hits together.”
South Side was playing without the services of two starters. Leading hitter Sean Klier, a senior first baseman, was on a college visit, and senior second baseman JP Cattaro is dealing with an ankle injury.
“We’ve had a different lineup every game,” Smith said. “Hopefully we can get everyone healthy at the same time.”
Miranda is slowly working his way back on the mound and has made numerous relief appearances. “He’s got overpowering stuff,” Smith said. “With the lousy weather and all, we weren’t going to push him. He says he feels fine, so if we can get him back to starting we’ll have four good options.”
Cyclones ace Andrew Misiaszek, a junior, dueled with Jericho star Mike Goren in the series opener that went to the Jayhawks, 2-0, on April 7. Goren struck out 11 and allowed just three hits. Misiaszek gave up one hit in five innings and fanned nine. “Andrew went pitch-for-pitch with Goren,” Smith said. “They both had great outings.”
Misiaszek came back last Monday and received much more run support from the Cyclones (3-4 in conference play) in a 10-4 home victory over first-place Kennedy. He tossed six innings, striking out nine and walking one while scattering six hits. Klier doubled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs, and sophomore shortstop Andy Pena went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Klier and junior Hayden Park, who has an on-base percentage of nearly .700, led the offense in the Jericho series, Smith said. Klier went 4-for-5, including 2-for-2 against Goren, with two walks and three RBIs.