WHITE PLAINS – Heavy rain Tuesday morning forced several baseball postponements, but White Plains coach Marcel Galligani proudly deployed his new tarp. By mid-afternoon, the sun was shining and the field was immaculate.
A well-kept diamond deserved flawless execution, and that’s exactly what the Tigers produced. White Plains dominated the fundamentals in a 7-0 win over league rival Scarsdale.
The first inning told the story. Steven Rand led off with a beautiful bunt up the third-base line for a hit, Gehrig Hauser laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Rand to second base, and then Daniel Lotito laced a clean single up the middle to bring Rand home.
“Coach loves it when we get those bunts down, and I think we did a great job of that today,” said Rand, who reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances. “That’s A-B-C baseball. Get on base, get ‘em over and get ‘em in.”
The Tigers scored in four of six innings, with all nine starters reaching base at least once. They were relentless, pounding out 11 hits and stealing five bases.
Lotito took care of the rest on the mound, tossing a four-hitter with seven strikeouts.
“I was just attacking the hitters,” the senior left-hander said. “My control was pretty good. My mechanics were timed well. I work out in the bullpen before the game, so everything was clicking.”
White Plains went through some growing pains with a young roster in 2015, but has yet to lose in three games this season –wins over Scarsdale and Clarkstown South, and a 6-6 tie with North Rockland, the top-ranked team in Class AA.
Lotito and talented sophomore Spencer Lodes provide a formidable 1-2 pitching punch, and the lineup looks like it can hurt opponents in a variety of ways.
“Last year, it was basically our one through four hitters, and the rest of the lineup was just kind of there,” Lotito said. “Now this year, the bottom feeds the top and we’re just rolling through it. It seems like I get up every inning.”
Player of the game: Daniel Lotito, White Plains — The southpaw seemed to get stronger as the game went on, particularly as his curveball began to break sharply for strikes. He also starred at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a run scored, two stolen bases and a team-high three RBI.
“He was locating perfectly,” Rand said. “He really shut them down today.”
Turning point: Scarsdale’s best chances to break through came in the fourth and sixth innings. The Raiders put runners on second and third on both occasions, but Lotito wiggled out of trouble each time.
“I just try and make my pitches, no matter what,” Lotito said. “I try to imagine they’re not there, which takes a lot of pressure off of me.”
Stat line: White Plains (2-0-1) — Lotito allowed four hits and one walk over seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts on 104 pitches (67 strikes). Rand went 3 for 3 with a walk, a double, two RBI and three runs scored and Mac Innes went 2 for 3 with a stolen base, a double and a run scored. Damian Vignone and Brendan McDonough each had an RBI. Scarsdale (1-2) — Josh Klein pitched five innings, allowing six runs (all earned) on 83 pitches (51 strikes) with 11 hits, one walk and one strikeout.
Quotable: “Galligani was talking about how we’re flying under the radar,” Lotito said. “Not many people know that we’re good, but I think people are starting to know that we’re a team to beat.”