Garden City's varsity baseball team improved to 3-1 on Monday with a comfortable 10-1 victory away at Bethpage.
The Trojans plated three runs in the first inning, and that offense alone proved more than enough for starting pitcher Matt Bader, who threw a complete game en route to his first win of the year.
The senior right-hander threw seven innings of one-run ball, retiring 16 of 17 batters at one point over a dominant first five innings, where only three balls were hit out of the infield.
Coach Rich Smith's side was paced by a balanced 12-hit attack, led by James
Cauchi and Matt Focella, who each went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Cenerfielder Mike Giannone put the Trojans on the board in the first inning, pulling a double down the third base line to score shortstop James Cauchi. After Scott Conetta struck out, the Golden Eagles should have been out of the inning one batter later, but second baseman Danny Tancredi threw wide of first, scoring both Tursi and Giannone. It was the third error of the frame.
Garden City expanded on their 3-0 lead in the second inning. Cauchi's ground rule double to center off Golden Eagles starting pitcher Gavin Stewart scored Mike Borges from second, and Giannone then drove home Frank Cordio and Cauchi with a two-out, two-run single to right centerfield.
After a three-up, three down bottom of the second inning for Bader, the Trojans tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the third.
Back-to-back base hits from Matt Focella and Scott Stein led off the inning, and DH Brandon Samardich bunted them over to second and third. Borges was unable to drive them home, but Cordio did, beating out an infield single. The second baseman's throw got away from Matt Shelly and Stein followed Focella across the plate to make it 8-0.
The Golden Eagles had their first runner in scoring position in the home half of the third, but Bader worked out of trouble with a pair of groundouts to keep Bethpage off the board.
Samardich made it 9-0 in the fifth inning with a solo home run to left centerfield, and Bader continued to shut down the hosts. At the end of the fifth, he had only pitched to one batter over the minimum (15).
Bethpage ended Bader's shutout hopes in the sixth inning when rightfielder Joey Schulkis singled home pinch hitter Nick Gillio, who had recorded the Golden Eagles' only extra-base hit to that point with a one-out double.
The Trojans regained their nine-run advantage in the seventh inning on Focella's solo home run to left centerfield—his second hit of the game—and Bader finished what he started with a fly ball to right field—his 78th pitch of the game—to seal the win.
"I think one of the keys from today's ballgame was the way we jumped on them in the first inning," Coach Smith said. "They booted the ball around a little bit and we were able to take advantage, putting three runs across.
"All in all it was a great day for us. Matty did a great job on the mound and he was in total control until the end when he got a little bit tired. Our defense was good, and it's the third game in a row where we've put up double digits on the scoreboard."
Samardich added: "It felt good. It was a good rebound because I started a little slow this year, so it's nice to start hitting again."
Garden City will travel to Plainedge today, looking to make it four in a row. First pitch is 4:30 p.m.