Upon receiving a text from coach Mike Chiapparelli which informed Kumar Nambiar that he would not be getting the start in Mamaroneck’s first round game against Carmel on Thursday, the Tigers’ ace felt one overwhelming emotion.
“It angered me,” Nambiar said bluntly. “If you lose without your ace, it kind of looks dumb.”
Had second-seeded Mamaroneck faltered in its opening playoff game, Nambiar would have been justified and Chiapparelli would have been subjected to criticism. But, apparently, the long-time coach knew best.
Mamaroneck beat Carmel with No. 2 starter Bill Flatow, leaving Nambiar ready to go with extra rest in the quarterfinals on Saturday against a North Rockland team that everyone knew was better than its No. 7 seed would suggest. The result was a 5-3 win for the Tigers and a spot to the semifinals on Wednesday, when Mamaroneck (18-4) will host No. 3 Arlington.
“It was definitely tough, but I trust (Chiapparelli),” Nambiar said. “I’ve trusted him for the past four years, and it obviously worked out.”
The senior left-hander allowed homers to Ben Muller and Billy Rotella, but otherwise held a potent Red Raiders’ lineup at bay.
He struck out eight in a complete game effort, allowing seven hits and three walks on 118 pitches.
“If he could pitch every game of the whole season, he would. That’s the way he’s made,” Mamaroneck catcher Andy Karlan said of Nambiar. “Those kids are good hitters, but he knew their batters. He was studying up yesterday with the pitching chart and he knew what he was going to do.”
North Rockland (14-8) countered with junior left-hander Eric Sandusky, who allowed five runs over 3 1/3 innings, only two of which were earned.
Karlan led off the game with a routine pop-up that dropped in shallow left field for a double, eventually scoring on Andrew Sommer’s groundout, and the Red Raiders made two other errors behind Sandusky.
“Eric didn’t throw bad, but I don’t know if we made the plays behind him,” North Rockland coach Joe Sottile said. “When you look at a play and you look at it as an out, and then you have to reset once they’re on base, it kind of puts you in a bad spot. Now you have to work the batters differently and pitch with a little more urgency.”
Nambiar provided the big blow at the plate in the bottom of the third to help himself out.
With two outs and the bases loaded, he laced a three-run double into left-center field to extend Mamaroneck’s lead to 5-1.
“I had been struggling at the plate a little bit, but that was a huge hit with two outs,” Nambiar said. “It ended up being the winning hit. That cushion was great.”
Fox Lane 2, Horace Greeley 1: In a Class AA quarterfinal at No. 4 Greeley, Joe Passarelli broke up Satchel Schultz’s no-hitter in the sixth inning and scored the winning run. Aaron Winkler tossed a five hitter for the fifth-seeded Foxes, who will play at No. 1 Ketcham in the semis on Wednesday.
Rye 2, Harrison 0: In a Class A quarterfinal at Disbrow Park, Tim DeGraw threw a two-hitter with eight strikeouts and Mat Bruno homered. The top-seeded Garnets will host No. 4 John Jay in the semis on Wednesday.
Byram Hills 9, Nyack 3: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 2 Byram, John Spadafino went 4 for 4 with a homer and four RBI and Matt Gertz pitched six innings. The Bobcats will host No. 3 Lincoln in the semis on Wednesday.
Lincoln 4, Beacon 3: In a Class A quarterfinal at Fleming Field, freshman Xavier Warren hit two doubles.
John Jay 9, Lakeland 5: In a Class A quarterfinal at No. 4 John Jay, Carl Albert struck out seven in relief for the win while Justin Drpich, Ryan Reinke and C.J. McCarthy each had two RBI.
Albertus Magnus 9, Dobbs Ferry 2: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 1 Albertus Magnus, James Reilly struck out five over six innings and Rob Ottaviano had three RBI. The Falcons will host No. 5 Valhalla in the semis on Wednesday.
Putnam Valley 2, Croton-Harmon 0: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 2 Croton-Harmon, Eddie Lent threw a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Nick Marro and Eric Grimes each had an RBI. The seventh-seeded Tigers will play at No. 3 Keio in the semis on Wednesday.
Keio 5, Ardsley 0: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 3 Keio, Kenta Nishiyama threw a two-hitter with nine strikeouts and had an RBI in the third.
Valhalla 2, Briarcliff 0: In a Class B quarterfinal at No. 4 Briarcliff, Jason Wolfthal threw a five-hitter with five strikeouts.