Chaminade’s Anthony Greco continued looking for his pitch after falling behind in the count.
Trailing by one run in the top of the seventh, Greco put an 0-and-2 pitch into leftfield to drive home the first two runs in Chaminade’s eight-run seventh inning in a 10-3 victory against St. Dominic to open CHSAA play on a windy Tuesday afternoon at Cantiague Park.
“Honestly, I didn’t really think I hit it that well,” Greco said. “I kind of just poked it in there. I thought my bat was broken for a second but you got do what you got do.”
The Flyers were confident despite trailing 3-2 entering the final inning. After Nick Sciortino’s leadoff walk, Straton Podaras doubled before Greco’s key hit. Chaminade reached base nine times in the seventh.
“That was a real close game to the end and we knew we had it at the end. Everybody knew it,” Podaras said. “We just had to get up there, get a guy on base, move him over maybe and we knew we’d get two runs.”
Joe Pizzingrillo followed Greco with an RBI double and Pizzingrillo, Cole Masterson, Matt Ferraro and Ryan Spalding also scored during the seventh inning. Podaras drove in the final three runs with a triple to right-center that got caught up in the more than 20-mile-per-hour winds.
The Flyers’ ace, Julien Arcos, understood the wind’s danger and was burned by it in the fourth inning. St. Dominic took a 3-1 lead in the fourth after doubles by Connor Sullivan and John LaRocca followed by a two-run home run to rightfield by Justin Rodriguez.
“The wind was blowing out so I had to get the ball down,” Arcos said, “and the hits they got, I left the ball up and it carried.”
Arcos faced the minimum three batters in four of his other five frames. He was efficient, throwing only 63 pitches in six innings while allowing six hits and striking out two.
St. Dominic’s 6-10 Kyle Young overpowered hitters early. Young, who has committed to Hofstra, had eight strikeouts in the first three innings and finished allowing two runs — one earned — in 4 1⁄3 innings. Jimmy Conway pitched out of a fifth-inning jam to keep the Bayhawks ahead through five innings.
Chaminade, the defending CHSAA champions, defeated St. Dominic in last season’s final. The two are favorites to meet in the championship again.
“It is a big confidence boost,” Arcos said. “I know we are going to do well throughout the whole season but this is reassuring.”