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WP Examiner Article On Stepinac Win over White Plains!

Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015 by Keith Richardson

Crusaders Cage Tigers, 2-1, in 12th Annual Joe McAvoy City Rivalry Challenge

EXAMINER SPORTS

By Albert Coqueran

It was like Déjà vu in the fifth inning of the 12th Annual Joe McAvoy City Rivalry Challenge, which pitted White Plains High

School against Stepinac High School, on Saturday, April 25, at White Plains High School. Back on April 1, in the Tigers Home

Opener, in the bottom of the seventh inning with Mahopac High School leading 4-3, Tigers catcher Andy Garcia, while representing

the tying run, tried to
take two bases on a sacrifice bunt and was thrown out at third base. The Tigers were defeated, 4-3. Then 21

days later, in the Joe McAvoy
City Challenge, Tigers Steven Rand hit a leadoff single with the score tied 1-1 in the fifth inning and

later stole second base
to put White Plains in position to tie the game with one out. But Rand, as Tigers Head Coach Marcel

Galligani emphasized, “tried to invent
something” and took too big a lead from second base. Crusaders relief pitcher Austin

Mammola stepped off the rubber
and caught Rand in a rundown. Rand was tagged out with the help of Crusaders Tyler

Gambardella, who hustled in from
centerfield to cover second base during the rundown. What is more devastating for the Tigers

was that their starting pitcher Daniel Lotito hit a single to right-field, after Ricardo Mendez grounded out, which could have scored

Rand and tied the game.
White Plains lost to Stepinac, 2-1, in this year’s Joe McAvoy City Rivalry Challenge, in a game that was

indicative of their 2015
season. The Tigers, believe it or not, are 0-8, to start the 2015 varsity high school baseball season. Mistakes,

errors and lack of offense
have determined their record this year, as the same faltering influenced the outcome of the Joe McAvoy

City Challenge.
The Tigers were in position to win a traditional game for prides sake, as City of White Plains bragging rights were on

the
line, but they blundered to another loss. Galligani was quite aware that even at 0-8, a win against city rival Stepinac could have

put some bounce back in the step of
his players going into the second half of the season. “I know for a fact winning this game

could have motivated my team. But
did they know it. I am not quite sure they did. The effort is there and there is talent. It is growing

pains and we are going to get
better,” Galligani said. Nonetheless, even while using every trick up his sleeve, Galligani could not

overcome
three costly errors, poor base running and six men left on base that the Tigers amassed in this game. Galligani used three

successive bunt attempts in the third inning to score the Tigers only run in the game. Leadoff hitter Rand began the inning with a

bunt and
then Mendez was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt. Rand scored on a bunt by the next batter Lotito, while Stepinac left

home
plate unguarded trying to field Lotito’s bunt. Tigers starting pitcher Lotito not only hit well in the game, while going 2-for-2

with a walk, he pitched good enough to win but sustained the loss. Stepinac scored both their runs on untimely errors by the

Tigers.
The Tigers junior threw a complete game with only four hits, no earned runs, eight strikeouts, no walks and two hit batsmen.

“Daniel pitched great. He
pitched without question the best baseball game we pitched this year. That was a performance that

deserved a win,” said
Galligani. In contrast to the Tigers’ season, across the city on Mamaroneck Avenue, Stepinac is in the midst

of an 8-2, winning season.
Before, they sustained a 5-1 loss to Mt. St. Michael, on April 23; the Crusaders had won six straight

games.
The Crusaders pitching is steady, as proven by the three pitchers who took the mound in the McAvoy Challenge. Starting

pitcher Daniel Meaney threw four innings, relinquishing four hits, one run, one walk and six strikeouts. Mammola relieved Meaney

in the fifth inning to hold theTigers down with two hits,no runs and a pick-off. The Crusaders ace pitcher Steven Boscia, who is 3-0

with two
saves on the season, came in to close the game with a one-two-three inning with onestrikeout. “It was a well pitched game

on both sides, 2-1, one run ballgame, typically Stepinac versus White Plains rivalry game and we are happy to get the win,” said

Crusaders Head
Coach Pat Duffy, who won his 197th career-game with the win over the Tigers in the Joe McAvoy Challenge.

Joe McAvoy is forever present at his namesake tournament. He stood behind the backstop for the entire game in support of the

Tigers. McAvoy was the Tigers Head
Baseball Coach for 18 years (1975-85). He also coached junior varsity soccer for 14 years and

varsity soccer
for four years. McAvoy is also a heralded educator at WPHS, having taught at the high school for 37 years. He

recently
returned to WPHS, as a substitute teacher. “I will always be grateful to be remembered in this way. I cannot thank

Marcel Galligani and The White Plains High School administration for continuing this tournament in my name,” said McAvoy.

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