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Madison baseball holds on to beat Grand Street Campus

April 24, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Chris Scolavino was one of three Madison hitters to have two hits and two RBIs as the bats came alive to help Karnbach (not pictured) beat the tough Grand Street Campus. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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James Madison High School picked up a big win and knocked off the only other undefeated Public School Athletic League AAA team from Brooklyn when it beat Grand Street Campus 7-3 in East Williamsburg on Thursday.

“This is big, confidence-wise this is big,” said Madison head coach Vincent Caiazza. “We beat Wagner, and they’re a top five team too, but we played them at home. It’s nice to beat a top team — and on their own field too. This was a nice one”

Madison starter Chris Karnbach pitched a great game, but slowed down after an injury to Brandon Sinche caused a 30-minute delay. Luckily, Madison had a good day at the plate as Chris Scolavino, Richard DeVita and Shawn James each had two hits and two RBIs to help lead the Knights to victory.

“We always know that it’s going to be a good game against Grand Street,” Karnbach said. “We always know it’s going to be loud. They have a lot of loud guys, guys who like to talk.

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“I was just trying to throw strikes,” he continued. “I know that this mound is tall, so I know that I can really bear down and get on top of the ball to throw hard off of it. I knew that if I hit my spots I could get guys to hit a lot of popups, and that’s exactly what they did.”

The Madison Knights scored four runs in the first inning off Grand Street starter Diogenes Almanzar. DeVita walked with the bases loaded to drive in the first run, then James singled in another run, Michael Hicks made it 3-0 on a single to right and finally Scolavino made it 4-0 on a groundout.

Madison added another in the second on an infield single by James and made it 6-0 in the third when Scolavino scored on a groundout.

Sinche suffered a dislocated left shoulder on an awkward swing in the bottom of the third and the resulting 30-minute delay changed the pace of the game. After the break, Karnbach struggled and Grand Street made it a 6-2 game on a double by Marcus Chavez and a single by Roberto Valdez, but, for the most part, Karnbach settled in after that.

It wasn’t until the sixth inning when Karnbach started to struggle again. Grand Street loaded the bases with two outs and Madison’s coach decided to call in James as a relief pitcher for a lefty-lefty matchup. The move worked as James struck out Valdez to escape the jam.

“He saved me,” Karnbach said of James. “He came in and shut them down. He got that big out and put us back on the bench.”

Madison improved to 5-0 with the win as Grand Street fell to 6-1 which made Madison the last PSAL AAA school from Brooklyn with a perfect record.

“We’re scrappy,” Caiazza said. “We’ll lay down a bunt, we’ll go to right field. Look, the first three innings our kids hit the ball to right field. We talked about it before the game, that because of the wind, we weren’t going to have success hitting it to left, and they listened.”

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