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Manhattan’s Richie Barrella Starting Season Strong

Junior infielder Richie Barrella, native of Larchmont, NY, is starting out the 2018 baseball season very well. In his first two seasons, Barrella hit just .251 over 84 games, starting just 70 of them. Manhattan finished 18-34 last year, and never were championship contenders, never mind making a deep run in the playoffs. This year, he might end up as the MAAC Player of the Year and perhaps see himself drafted by an MLB club in June.

So far in 2018, the tables have turned. Barrella has helped lead Manhattan to a 12-10 record overall, and a 3-0 record in Metro American Athletic Conference play. Last week, conference play opened up and the 3 wins all came in a series with Saint Peter’s. The Jaspers won the series by a combined margin of 28 runs, as they allowed just 7. The final scores in successive order were 15-5, 2-0, and 18-2.  

The infield helped lead the charge, stopping any runners attempting to come to the plate. The Jaspers are currently on a 5-game win streak, having just beaten Columbia 8-7 in 10 innings. Barrella has now won MAAC Baseball Player of the Week twice in a row. His first win came after hitting .571, garnering 8 hits in 14 at-bats while scoring 4 runs and swiping 2 bags.  

This week, he slugged in a similar fashion. With 9 hits in 16 at-bats, he hit .562. Barrella also drove in an astonishing 9 runs, himself scoring an additional 4 and also stealing a pair of bases. In every single game, he was able to successfully reach base. His best performance came in the first game of the week in the slaughter of Saint Peter’s (the final score was 15-5), where he went 3-4 with a triple, a run scored, and 4 RBIs.

At this point it is clear to everybody that Barrella is a threat. He’s proven his ability to play the game, and pitchers are now looking out for him. On the season, he is now hitting .360 in 22 games, with 31 hits in 86 at-bats. His 31 hits is tied for most in the MAAC, and his average is the 4th highest (but consider that he has at least 16 more at-bats than the ones ahead of him). Barrella is even in 3rd for most runs batted in, with 19.

Manhattan has taken over the stat sheet and standings, and are looking to be completely dominant for the rest of the season. The Jaspers lead the conference in team average, at the .274 mark. They are also 2nd in fielding percentage (.966), and 3rd on the mound in ERA (5.58).

It will not be a shocker to anyone if the Jaspers finish first or second in the conference, with Barrella at the head of it all. He’s got a legitimate chance at winning the conference’s top award, and a chance to be playing professional baseball soon too. Their offensive game is phenomenal, their defense follows the same manner, and their mound presence is completely dominant. This season seems to be a turnaround one, and in the end, Manhattan might be the ones winning the MAAC title and further battling for a NCAA championship.

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