Baseball – Dalatri Extends Winning Streak to 24 as CBA Pounds Marlboro
MIDDLETOWN - Luca Dalatri has dodged some close calls during his streak of 24 consecutive winning decisions on the mound, and one of the closest was an extra-inning game against Marlboro in April of 2015 in which he settled for a no-decision. In fact, that was the only start of Dalatri's last two-plus seasons as a varsity pitcher in which he did not earn a victory.
On Wednesday against that same Marlboro team and against the same pitcher who went toe-to-toe with him for seven-plus innings last year, there was a decision and it was resounding.
CBA jumped on Mustangs starter Jeremy Dyzenhaus and piled on the bullpen in the final two innings of a six-inning, 11-0 win that extended Dalatri's winning streak to 24 straight. The senior right-hander has not lost a decision since Camden Catholic beat the Colts 3-0 in the NJSIAA Non-Public South A playoffs in 2013, Dalatri's freshman year.
If strikeouts are a measure of dominance, Wednesday was Dalatri's least dominant of his four starts this year, but that also helped make it his most economical. He needed only 78 pitches to notch his second six-inning complete game of the season and fourth overall in four starts. He struck out a season-low eight, but also allowed just two hits, one walk and one hit batter. No Marlboro runner made it to second base against Dalatri on Wednesday.
Dalatri struck out 19 in his previous outing, a 122-pitch, eight-inning effort against Middletown South, 3-1. In 27 innings this season, Dalatri has struck out 52 and walked two while allowing just one earned run (0.26 ERA) on 14 hits.
In last year's meeting between the two A North rivals, Dalatri took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before coming out of the game after the inning due to a high pitch count on an unseasonably cold and wet day. The difference in this year's showdown with Dyzenhaus was the run support Dalatri got, much of it his own doing. He and fellow batterymate Brandon Martorano combined to go 7-for-7 with three extra-base hits and four RBI out of the Nos. 3 and 4 spots in the batting order.
CBA got to Marlboro's pitching Wednesday by attacking early in the count. The Colts had four extra-base hits in the game and all four came on the first pitch of the at-bat. Senior Luke Chece also hit a ball down the right-field line on the first pitch of his final at-bat that likely would have gone for a double if the runner on first had not had to freeze to make sure the ball dropped. In total, six of CBA's 12 hits came on first-pitch ambushes.
Dalatri opened the scoring with an RBI single to left in the first inning that plated a second run thanks to a misplay in the outfield. Dalatri delivered another RBI single in the bottom of the third to make it 3-0 and senior Kenny Campbell extended the lead to 4-0 with an RBI single to center field - his second hit in as many at-bats. Campbell crushed a double on the first pitch he saw in his first at bat, a ball that one-hopped the fence.
CBA added a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by senior Evan Menendez and Dalatri capped his 3-for-3 game with a double during CBA's four-run fifth inning that extended the lead to 9-0. The Colts scored a run in four consecutive plate appearances, with sophomore Nick Hohenstein smacking an RBI single to left, a run scoring when Campbell reached on an error, and RBI single by Luke Chece and one more when senior Brendan Galvin bounced into a double play.
Martorano then capped his 4-for-4 game at the plate with a game-ending, two-run home run to left-field on the first pitch of the at-bat. The home run was his second of the season, and while that pace appears to leave him well short of the 11 home-run season he posted as a junior, Martorano did not hit his first 2015 homer until April 17 and hit eight of his home runs from May 7 on.
Martorano also swatted a double over the third-base bag in the third inning and scored four runs in the game.
CBA's win Wednesday followed up its first loss of the season against an in-state opponent - a 4-0 loss to Manalapan that snapped a 21-game winning streak against N.J. competition that dated back to a loss to Middletown South last year.