- Last Updated: 3:34 AM, April 28, 2012
- Posted: 2:31 AM, April 28, 2012
The stage was set for Chris Falcone: A Friday night game under the lights at the College of Staten Island and his team's rival, Monsignor Farrell, in the opposite dugout.
He enjoyed the spotlight.
Falcone shined bright from the get go, striking out the first two batters he faced. The fast start set the tone and St. Joseph by the Sea never relented, cruising to an 11-0 shutout in CHSAA Class AA baseball.
Sea’s second win over Farrell this week was never in doubt, not with the stellar pitching it received from Falcone and a balanced hitting display.
“He was waiting for this game,” Sea coach Gordon Rugg said of Falcone. “He wanted this and he went out there and took it.”
Falcone certainly did. The Felician-bound lefty struck out a career high 13 and only gave up three hits. He recorded at least one strikeout in every inning and struck out the side in the fourth.
“I usually come out and have a rough first inning,” Falcone said. “But after I struck out the first two batters of the game I just settled in. I was able to get ahead of every batter with my curveball. I just felt great.”
Before Falcone even stepped foot on the mound, the Vikings gave him a lead. They jumped on Farrell’s starting pitcher Joe Liotta early, scoring three runs in the top of first as he lasted just 2-2/3, giving up four runs on six hits.
The first run came across as catcher Joe Santigate (3-4, 2 RBI) doubled with runners on first and third. Then with one out, left fielder Lou Mandia (2-4) hit a sacrifice fly, driving in the second run. Right fielder Nick Gonchar tripled in the third run.
That was enough for Falcone, but the Vikings bats remained hot despite the chilly temperature. They would go on to add one run in the third, four in the fourth, and then three more in the fifth.
“We had a good batting practice before the game,” Rugg laughed. “We just carried it into the game. This is a good team win all around.”
Falcone now has three CHSAA wins on the young season. His start against Iona Prep, a 1-0 victory in which he recorded 11 strikeouts, and his latest shutout of Farrell, show he’s on target.
“I worked really hard over the winter,” Falcone said. “I put on 15 pounds, and I just completely concentrated on pitching. I didn’t work on my hitting or anything else, just pitching.”
Falcone’s hard work appears to be paying off, and Sea (5-0) is enjoying his success. The team is rolling and Rugg can’t stop smiling.
“We just had a week where we beat Farrell twice,” Rugg beamed. “That’s a pretty good week. We’re playing good ball, and we’re going to try to carry that through.”
As for Monsignor Farrell (2-5), little went right against Falcone. The Lions mustered only three hits and did not have a player reach second base until the seventh. The Lions used three pitchers in the game, all of which were hit hard. They gave up 14 hits overall.
“It’s one of those games where we didn’t do anything well,” Farrell coach Bob Mulligan said. “We have to work harder and come back. We still have time to get redemption.”Follow @NYPostsports