Story provided by Head Coach Kristaps Aldins
HOBOKEN, N.J. (October 26, 2011) – Under plentiful blue skies and a warm fall sun, the Stevens Institute of Technology baseball program hosted its annual alumni game this past Sunday, October 23. The day began with batting practice as many of the alumni shook off the rust and found their swings. After losing a dozen or so batting practice balls over the right-field fence, each team took a full infield/outfield routine while the game’s starting pitchers warmed up in their respective bullpens.
Dave Katuso ’09 took to the mound for Team Silva and was impressive to start. Showing off a repertoire of different arm slots and pitches, Katuso put up a zero in the top of the first inning. Team Ackermann selected Jim Waterman ’08 as their ace and the decision paid off as Waterman had an excellent outing. In all, he went three complete innings, throwing strikes with all of his pitches, and displaying the bulldog mentality that he was known for during his Stevens career.
Dan Silva ’10 helped his own team get on the board as he ripped a long triple to left in the top of the second. Up next was Mike Carrano ’05, who drove Silva in with an opposite field double. Carrano swung a hot bat all day, contributing two hits as well as a loud line drive out. After giving up the lone run, Katuso settled down and got in a groove. He escaped further damage in the top of the second and then pitched a scoreless frame in the top half of the third. Other highlights in the first three frames included some nice hitting by Eric McCormick ’08 and fine defense at shortstop by Peter Ko ’93. Former Stevens ace, Scott Picerno ’08 also wowed the crowd and surprised his former teammates with a monstrous blast to left-field.
The middle frames featured some excellent pitching by Dan Anunziatta ’12, who completed his baseball eligibility at Stevens in 2011. Anunziatta threw three innings of one-run ball collecting several strikeouts. Anunziatta was equally impressive at the plate with a couple of hard-struck base-hits. He also launched a long fly ball to right field in the top of the fourth that was dropped for a two base, three run-scoring error. The costly two-out defensive miscue put Team Silva in a commanding 4-to-0 lead. Team Ackermann’s only run off of Anunziatta came in the bottom of the fifth, when current Stevens coach Denis Ackermann ’11 ripped an RBI single to right-field.
Notable highlights from the middle frames were some good swings from Ken Meerendonk ’11, excellent defensive work at shortstop by Andrew Tesoriero ’08, and a fine catch in left-field by Peter Rogina ’84. Ko continued to flash some leather at short as he combined with Jeff Drobik ’05 and Meerendonk for a 6-4-3 double play. Gerard Moreno ’06 was also impressive on the mound after overcoming some early command issues in the top of the fourth. In that inning he instigated a mock bench clearing brawl when he hit the first two batters of the inning.
The score heading into the bottom of the seventh was 4-1, Team Silva, and they looked poised to capture boasting rights for the day. However, Team Ackermann began its rally with a big bang as alumni game Most Valuable Player, Rogina led off the bottom of the seventh with a long home-run that landed in the netting protecting Stevens’ scoreboard in right field. Meerendonk immediately followed with an opposite field line drive home-run to right-field that cut the deficit to only one run. After a runner reached base, David Katusa evened up the score by crushing a long double to left. This prompted Coach Silva to make a mid-inning pitching change as he brought in closer, Picerno to try to shut the door. Picerno escaped further damage in the seventh, but the momentum was clearly on Coach Ackermann’s side as the game moved to its final few frames.
Other notable highlights from the late innings included a great play in right-field by Anthony Andrews ’10 and a key play at third base by Zac Zatorski ’10 that saved a couple of runs. Mike Ivey ’08 also was extremely impressive during his outing on the mound. Ivey threw a ton of strikes, kept the ball down, and worked quickly. He also showed some great mound presence while working out of a key bases loaded jam inducing an inning-ending popup.
Tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the eighth, the stage was set for Team Ackermann to complete their furious comeback.Anthony Piccolo ’06 led off the inning with a hustle double to left-field that he barely beat out on a close play. Piccolo was then moved over to third base on a single by Ko. Then, with the bases loaded, Moreno struck the key blow with a two-RBI single up the middle that gave Team Ackermann their first lead of the day. Team Silva tried to stage a rally in the ninth thanks to nice base-hits by Annunziata and McCormick, but Team Ackermann held its ground for a thrilling 6-to-4 victory.
Alumni Game MVP: Peter Rogina ‘84
Alumni Game Most Outstanding Pitcher: Jim Waterman ‘08
Alumni Game Line Score
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 FINAL
Team Silva 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4
Team Ackermann 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 2 X 6