Livecast primer: St. Ray's vs. Fordham Prep
It’s a Bronx battle between two of the hottest baseball teams in the CHSAA and it will be played on Staten Island.
St. Raymond and Fordham Prep will clash at Richmond County Bank Ballpark live on MSGVarsity.com Sunday at 7 p.m.
Two of the best baseball teams in The Bronx are playing at the home of the Staten Island Yankees to give their players a chance to play in a professional ballpark. It’s part of the New York Yankees minor league affiliate’s high school baseball initiative.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to play at Richmond County Bank Ballpark under the lights and to top it all off, its going to be on MSG Varsity,” second-year St. Raymond coach Marc DeLuca said. “They are 16, 17, 18-year-olds who are getting the MLB treatment for the night.”
After opening the season with back-to-back losses, the Ravens (7-2) enter the game on a seven-game winning streak following a 15-0 win against Mount St. Michael Saturday afternoon.
St. Ray’s success starts with stellar starting pitching, according to DeLuca, who will send ace Anthony Colon to the mound against Fordham Prep. The senior left-hander is a three-year starter who has drawn interest from Division II Pace and Dominican. He threw two perfect innings out of the bullpen in St. Ray’s 8-1 win over Cardinal Hayes Wednesday.
The Ravens have also received offensive contributions throughout their lineup, from Jordanis Nunez at the top to Josh Vargas at the bottom. In an 8-0 win at Cardinal Spellman Thursday, first baseman Sanchez was the hero, belting a three-run home run in a five-run second inning.
“He’s finding his groove,” DeLuca said of Sanchez. “He struggled a little bit and now he’s starting to hit the ball very well, making solid contact.”
Undefeated Fordham Prep, ranked No. 7 in New York City by MSG Varsity, has won its first seven games of the season and boasts arguably the best lineup in the CHSAA. Leading the way is switch-hitting Virginia Tech-bound shortstop Andrew Velazquez, who already has three home runs.
He’s not the only one mashing the ball for the Rams. Vinny Capone belted a three-run triple in a 9-5 win against Salesian, Mick Regan and Robbie Lynch each drove in a pair of runs in a 10-1 win against Spellman and Zach Leone and Jack Sexton have both consistently been driving in runs.
“We’re here to swing the bats, there’s no doubt,” Fordham Prep coach Pat Deane said.
Fordham Prep’s pitching hasn’t been too shabby, either. Deane will send ace Sean McNamara to the hill Sunday night. In his debut this year, the lanky junior tossed six shutout innings in a 9-2 win over rival Iona Prep. He also went the distance in an eight-inning 3-1 win over Cardinal Hayes.
“He throws strikes,” Deane said. “Obviously he has great velocity, he hits his spots, keeps the team involved, doesn’t throw too many pitches. I don’t think it’s brain surgery, honestly. Throw strikes and that’s what he’s going to do every fifth day.”