THIELLS – As Mamaroneck coach Mike Chiapparelli emerged from the dugout with the Tigers just one out away from a win over North Rockland on Monday, senior left-hander Kumar Nambiar’s face said it all.
“I said, ‘You’re not taking me out,’ and he said, ‘I’m just coming to talk,’ ” Nambiar said. “It kind of made me remember last year’s Scarsdale game. It was the same kind of thing. Second and third, we were up by one, and both guys ended up scoring right after he came out to talk to me. It wasn’t going to happen this time. I wasn’t going to allow that.”
Nambiar finished off what he started by inducing a groundball to third, sealing a 3-2 win for Mamaroneck in a playoff-like atmosphere.
Both third-ranked Mamaroneck (3-1) and fourth-ranked North Rockland (0-1) are expected to be major contenders in Class AA this season.
“We definitely knew that this was going to be a big game,” Tigers catcher Andy Karlan said. “We just came out and did what we had to do.”
After throwing a two-hitter on 63 pitches on Thursday, Nambiar came back on three days’ rest to deliver a complete game on 103 pitches with seven strikeouts.
“The changeup and the curveball were really big today, and it really kept the hitters off balance,” said Nambiar, who also gave up 10 hits and two walks. “But I give it to them today. They had a really good day hitting-wise, and it was a great game.”
Ben Steinberger gave Nambiar a 2-0 cushion in the top of the second with a two-run single down the left field line, but the Red Raiders threatened in the fourth.
Billy Rotella led off with a double and advanced to third on a groundball. When Dan Wirchansky struck out on a pitch in the dirt, Rotella broke for home and appeared to have the throw beat. But the umpire ruled that he never touched home plate, with Karlan applying the tag after he slid past it.
“I was blocking the plate,” said Karlan, who went 2 for 3 with a triple. “There was no way that he could have touched it. He slid around me, so I knew that I just had to turn around and tag him.”
Christian Nicolosi walked with the bases loaded in the fifth to cut North Rockland’s deficit to 2-1, but Mamaroneck tacked on an insurance run on Nambiar’s RBI groundout in the sixth.
Rotella made it 3-2 with an RBI single in the seventh, but Nambiar closed it out with the tying run on base.
“I thought we could have played better throughout the game, maybe a few less mistakes,” North Rockland coach Joe Sottile said. “But when you’re behind in the seventh inning, to see guys battle back and not lay down, put a run up on the board and give yourself a chance to tie the game, it’s a good thing to see.”
North Rockland’s Billy Rotella is tagged out at home by Mamaroneck’s Andy Karlan during their game at North Rockland Apr. 6, 2015. Mamaroneck won 3-2. Rotella appears to touch the plate after evading the first tag by Karlan.
Best of the rest: Kevin Horowitz struck out six over five innings for the win and Gabe Cohen had three RBI in Suffern’s 10-3 win over visiting White Plains. … Will Silverstone struck out eight in a complete game in host Nanuet’s 15-1 win over Port Chester. … Winning pitcher Steve Boscia tossed six scoreless innings in Stepinac’s 1-0 win over visiting Xavier. … Frankie Vesuvio struck out seven over six innings in Byram Hills’ 3-0 win at Albertus Magnus. He also hit a double and scored twice. … John Scrima pitched five shutout innings to earn his first varsity win and Sean Flaherty had four RBI in host Pearl River’s 14-1 win over Yonkers. … Paul Gadaleta got the win and Jack Reiss earned the save in Horace Greeley’s 10-3 win at Ossining. … Mike DiSanto hit a walk-off single and Greg Satriale struck out 15 over six innings in host Eastchester’s 4-3 win over Tuckahoe. … Brandon Forrester struck out six and did not allow a hit over five innings in Blind Brook’s 16-3 win over visiting Yonkers Montessori.