Aggressive base-running and a gritty performance from the bullpen led the Monroe Community College Tribunes to victory Tuesday.
Cass Roberts (Canandaigua) hurled four shutout in relief for the win as the Tribunes defeated the Niagara Community College Thunder Wolves 6-3 to advance to Saturday’s semi-fianl round of the WNYAC Championship.
Roberts entered the game with two runners aboard and no outs in the fourth inning and retired the side without any damage. The freshman right-hander surrendered a hit to the first batter he faced, but a base-running error caused a rundown between home and third base. Catcher Brian Dixon (St. Joseph’s) and Frank Poerio (Hampton) executed the play for the putout. Roberts struck out the next batter looking and induced a weak ground ball to end the inning.
Niagara threatened in the sixth, but Roberts retired the side with a breaking ball on the outside part of the plate that froze the Thunder Wolves hitter.
A double steal gave Monroe a 3-2 lead in the third. Vinnie Bomasuto (Dunkirk) started the rally with a single up the middle. One out later, Dan Mendick (Pittsford Mendon) reached with a shallow fly ball into center field. The pair advanced 90 feet apiece, and Bomasuto came home on a ground ball by Brad Kaczka (Pittsford Sutherland). Mendick crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Tribs added three more in the fifth. Kaczka reached base when his hard-hit ball was mishandled. Dixon connected on hit-and-run double down the left field line scoring Kaczka from first. One out later, Jalen Dennis (Aquinas) plated Dixon with an opposite field single to right. Poerio followed with a base hit through the right side of the infield. After an out, Bomasuto capped the rally with two-out, full-count single up the middle scoring Dennis who was moving with the pitch.
The Black and Gold pasted a run on the board in the first. Bomasuto and Ralph Alloco (McQuaid) reached on back-to back one-out singles. When a pitch out of the strike zone prevented contact in a hit-and-run situation, the duo swiped bags without the aid of a batted ball. Kaczka reached on an error allowing Bomasuto to cross home.
Jon Klein started and went three innings. After retiring the side in order in the first, the right-hander allowed two runs on three doubles in the second before settling down. Klein finished with three strike outs.
Cody Petre (Letchworth) worked the last two innings. After allowing a full count walk and a weak single in the eighth, Petre ended the threat with a slider that fooled the batter.
The Tribunes will play Mercyhurst in the semi-final round of the WNYAC tournament. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.