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Staten Island Pizza Rats pitcher Shawn Semple made his first start of the season. (Robert M. Pimpsner)

The Power of the Pizza Rat, Staten Island Wins 4-2

The Staten Island Yankees (3-6) won the series finale against the Aberdeen Ironbirds, 4-2. The team is now 1-2 in each of their series’ this season.

Shawn Semple (0-1, 3.86) got his first start of the season, after relieving Roansy Contreras in his previous appearance. Semple would go four-plus innings, giving up seven hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and four strikeouts. Semple sat in the 90-92 mph range with his fastball, mixing in his curveball.

“He was good with his fastball” said Manager Lino Diaz. “His secondary stuff wasn’t as good, but he was good with his fastball, which allowed him to do what he did. He stayed there and competed really well.”

Garrett Mundell got the win for the Pizza Rats. (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Garrett Mundell (1-1, 3.38) would come in for Shawn Semple, and pitch one-hit ball through three innings, picking up his first win of the season. Mundell would give up one hit, no runs, and three strikeouts on 32 pitches (22 strikes), using mostly his 90-92 mph fastball.

“He did such a good job. He had a couple of short innings with not that many pitches, so we extended him” said Diaz. “He was the difference in slowing the game down for us, and able to come back and get the win.”

Christian Morris earned the save. (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Christian Morris (0-0, 0.00) finished the game, pitching two perfect innings to pick up his first save of the season.

All of the scoring for the Pizza Rats would take place in the four-run fifth inning. Frederick Cuevas led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk. Alex Junior followed with another walk, giving him three on the day.

Kyle Gray would add a two-out 10-pitch walk to load the bases. Cuevas and Junior would be brought in by a Canaan Smith single to right.

“That at-bat by Kyle Gray, that was a key”, said Diaz. “Smitty coming in with the single with the bases loaded, those were really good things.”

Andres Chaparro had three hits in the game. (Robert M. Pimpsner)

To finish the scoring, Andres Chaparro doubled to left, scoring Gray and Smith.

“He had a different approach”, Diaz speaking of Chaparro. “He was up the middle, gap to gap, trusting himself. As a result, he had some good at-bats. I saw a lot of good things in that fifth inning.”

Lineup Change:

Eric Wagaman, Ryan Lidge, and Frederick Cuevas returned to the Yankees Lineup, replacing Chuck Vasquez, Jerry Seitz, and Jesus Bastidas. Canaan Smith moved from Left to DH. Andres Chaparro and Junior Soto switched places in the lineup (4-5). Ryan Lidge and Frederick Cuevas continued to bat next to each other in the lineup, this time in the eight and nine spots.

Star of the Game:

Andres Chaparro went three-for-three, with a two-RBI double, two singles, and a walk. Alex Junior was also on base three times and made some spectacular plays in centerfield. Garrett Mundell steadied the ship for the pitching staff, giving up only one hit in his three innings.

Odd Note:

In each game this series, the Aberdeen lead-off hitter was the first batter in the first and third innings.

Game Note:

This game was the first Saturday home game of the season for Staten Island and first official game for the Staten Island Pizza Rats. The remaining Staten Island Pizza Rats games this season are July 7, July, 14, July 21, August 4.

Next Game:

The Yankees will begin a three-game home series against the Tri-City ValleyCats (June 24-26). Roansy Contreras (0-0, 3.60) is scheduled to start the first game of the series.