Long Island Titans win Super 15 Invitational opener

By DN WRITING STAFF | July 20, 2022

Alex Bono of Long Island Titans slides safely into third as AA Elite’s Jacob Baranquilla extends.

By Sean Reilly

Vito Mannino has swung a hot bat this summer for the Long Island Titans Robles, something he hoped to continue this week while competing along with his team at the Super 15 Invitational at Diamond Nation.

It’s a case of so far, so good for Mannino and his team. He went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and four RBI as the Titans opened play in the tournament with a 10-3 victory over the AA Elite 25s from New York on Tuesday afternoon in Flemington. 

Mannino was an extra hitter in the 10-man lineup and batted fifth in the Titans order. 

“This was a good start to the tournament,” he said. 

The Titans scored five times in the bottom of the first for a 5-0 lead. With one out, Brady McGowan and Alex Bono walked before Joe Scarabino was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Mannino. 

Mannino followed with a two-run single to the gap in right field, and an error on the play allowed a third run to score. 

“I’m trying to drive the ball the other way and hit line drives,” he said. “I’ve been hitting really well this season and that was a great way to start this off.” 

The other two runs in the inning came courtesy of a bases-loaded single by Nick Calandrino that landed just beyond the reach of the third baseman before falling in shallow left field, and a bases-loaded walk to James Trepiccione.

L.I. Titans first baseman Brayden Hromada receives throw to retire Ryan Nieves of AA Elite. 

AA Elite, playing its second game after defeating the New Jersey Nationals, 7-4, on Monday, clawed back with three runs in the top of the second. The key play was a two-run single by Jacob Baranquilla with two out. 

Mannino had an RBI hit in the bottom of the inning, and then scored on a wild pitch for a 7-3 lead. 

The final three runs came in the third. McGowan had an RBI ground out, Bono’s single up the middle scored another and Mannino hit a sacrifice fly to center.

Bono ended 2-for-2 with a walk and Brayden Hromada walked three times for the Titans. 

The Titans will bid for a 2-0 start when they play Thunderwolves Baseball (0-2) on Wednesday morning.

“It was really important that we kept it up (after they scored),” Mannino said. “Now we have to keep the same momentum and keep things going with the pitchers throwing strikes, getting kids on base and driving them in.”

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