Christian Brothers Academy vs. St. Augustine: Game Recap

Sean McGrath
Scouting Director, New Jersey

Christian Brothers Academy 4 – St. Augustine Prep 3

Game Played May 26

The state playoff games created dozens of intriguing matchups thus far but I’ve anticipated this matchup more than any to this point. The reason for the heightened anticipation was the pitching matchup between two high quality 2016 right-handed pitchers. CBA’s starter, Luca Dalatri, is committed to North Carolina while St. Augustine’s Mike Vasturia is committed to Maryland. The colossal matchup would meet expectations as both showcased their talents in CBA’s 4-3 walk off win.

Dalatri had a hot start out of the game while Vasturia, who was pitching on short rest, got stronger as the game went on. Dalatri was 86-89 throughout the duration of the game, mixing in above average feel for four quality pitches in and out of the strike zone. Dalatri featured plus fastball command all day, particularly to his glove side. He mixed in a 72-74 MPH 11/5 curveball with great spin rate. To make the lives of opposing hitters more difficult, he was ripping off sharp, two-plane sliders at 76-78 that possessed late, sharp bite. He even showed flashes of an above average changeup in and out of the zone with diving action at 78-81.

He wasted no time sprinkling in his four pitch mix. He had hitters overwhelmed and off-balance and retired the first ten hitters he faced, 3 of them by strikeout. The number of strikeouts isn’t as impressive as the fact that he used a different pitch to get the final strike with each victim.

Vasturia got off to a slow start. Although his stuff was good, his command wasn’t. Jr. OF Cid Porter welcomed Vasturia to Lincroft by smacking a hard single to right field. Sr. Buccellatto bunted the above average runner over to second. Then Vasturia walked junior OF and Old Dominion commit Will Morgan. With 1st and 2nd with one out, CBA’s catcher Brandon Martorano stepped up to the plate. Martorano is undoubtedly one of the top five prospects in New Jersey’s 2016 class. The other half of the North Carolina committed battery laced a single to LF; hit too firmly to score the runner. Dalatri then hit a 2-run single to left to take the 2-0 lead before Vasturia induced a 6-4-3 double play. Vasturia would sit 84-87 throughout his six frame outing. He used his leverage to create a downhill plane that become tougher to hit as he began to feel release out in front. His go-to off speed was a potentially plus 12/6 curveball with great spin that was unhittable when below the knees.

The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the third when Brandon Martorano stepped up to the dish with two outs and nobody on. Martorano showcased his plus bat speed and great hands on an 87 MPH fastball down to the inner-third. The right-handed swinger dropped the barrel and got extension on the pitch similar to the way left-handed hitters are famous for. Off the bat, it was a no-doubter and the solo homerun extended the lead by one.

Down by 3 scores against one of the top arms in the state, it would have been easy for the Hermits to lose life. However, they did the opposite of that in the next half inning. With one out, Anthony Meduri (Sr. committed to Binghamton), would give his squad some life when he beat out an infield single to the shortstop. This would lead to a string of two more ground ball singles, including one hit through the 5/6 hole by Sean Carew. Having cut the score 3-1, talented 2016 hitter Kris Morgenweck stepped up to the plate. He too would hit a groundball; except his was right at the 3rd baseman for a double play. After a quick bottom of the 4th, Vasturia stepped up to the dish and squared up a line drive double to LF. The next two batters would ground out to the shortstop in quality fashion. The first one advanced the Vasturi to 3rd and the second one plated him. The score would remain 3-2 until the top of the 7th when Jr. 2B and lefty swinger, Chris Troost, started the two out rally with a hard line drive single to left field. Sr. SS Matt McCourt would reach on an error and Meduri would come up clutch with a single in the 5/6 hole to drive in the tying run.

The tie game wouldn’t last long however. In the bottom of the 7th, St. Augustine Prep turned to Jr. LHP and Duke commit Bill Chillari. The mid-80s left walked the leadoff hitter and forced Porter to hit into a fielder’s choice. With one on and one out, a Buccellato single made it first and third to bring up the sweet-swinging lefty, Will Morgan. Morgan handled the tough left-on-left matchup, keeping his shoulder square and driving a walk-off single up the middle to give CBA the 4-3 win. The 3-4-5 hitters for CBA, Morgan, Martorano, and Dalatri went a combined 5 for 9 while accounting for each of the four RBIs. Anthony Meduri went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored in the loss.

Dalatri tossed a complete game, giving up 2 earned runs on 7 hits, striking out 6 Hermits while not allowing a free base. Mike Vasturia went 6 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4 hitters in the no decision.