After two weeks filled with cancellations to start the season, the men’s baseball team got off to a hot start once they finally hit the field, beating Mount St. Mary College 5-3 and 10-2 and cruising past the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a 19-9 win to start off at 3-0.
“It’s big to start 3-0 with all the games that have been canceled. We were dying to get out there,” said Hawks third-year pitcher Anthony Amoroso. “Some guys got their first appearances [Wednesday] and got that out of the way so we’ll have some experience going into Florida.”
After a walk with the bases loaded, third-year catcher Zack Warenius scored the first run of the day for New Paltz in the top of the first inning. The Merchant Marine Academy quickly answered in the bottom of the inning, scoring four runs of their own. A sac-fly in the bottom of the second pushed the Mariner’s lead even further up 5-1.
The Hawks would not back down with the early deficit, scoring again on a fielder’s choice by fourth-year first baseman Justin Ganca to come behind 5-2. A two-RBI single by fourth-year outfielder Danny Campbell propelled New Paltz even closer, coming behind one at 5-4 and staying alive.
An RBI single by the Merchant Marine Academy extended their lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the fourth, but the Hawks offense went right back to work in the fifth. Two RBIs a piece by third-year outfielder Matt McGee and fourth-year infielder Ryan Frost, as well as an RBI from Ganca, gave New Paltz a large lead of their own up 10-6.
The Mariners would score two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to stay within reach down 10-8, but it was not enough of a push as the Hawks strided ahead. Three runs in the seventh and five in the eighth sealed the large win for New Paltz, ultimately taking the 19-9 victory.
Third-year pitcher Justin Halper earned the win for the Hawks. Preparing for their trip to Florida, New Paltz only travelled with 20 players to the Merchant Marine Academy.
“Every team I’ve been on we’ve had to take less guys than our opponents,” Campbell said. “I’d take our 20 guys over any team’s 50 any day. We don’t back down from anyone, however many guys we got we’re going at it full speed.”
Mount St. Mary got the scoring going in the first game on Saturday, earning the first run in the second inning off a triple and another in the third off a double. Campbell answered for the Hawks in the fourth, singling to left to score McGee.
While rallying, the Knights continued their scoring in the fifth inning off a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded. They continued to capitalize the offensive spree, but left New Paltz with an opportunity to come back.
In the sixth inning Campbell came through in the clutch again for the Hawks, singling to left to score McGee again and come behind one at 3-2. The Hawks got their winning rally going in the eighth, with McGee and Ganca coming up with RBI doubles, while Campbell secured his third RBI of the night off a single to put New Paltz up, 5-3.
Fourth-year pitcher Ryan Votypka got the save for the Hawks, sealing their first win of the season. Fourth-year pitcher Michael Delio earned the win.
New Paltz got the scoring going early and often in the second game, scoring six runs in the second inning off doubles by Frost, third-year catcher Reid Oreste and third-year outfielder Julian Francisco. McGee also hit a sacrifice fly, while second-year outfielder David Juechter tallied an RBI off a fielder’s choice and later scored on a wild pitch to put the Hawks up, 6-0.
Frost continued the scoring in the third off another double to put New Paltz up seven, while Ganca hit a triple and Campbell earned an RBI off a groundout in the fourth to put the Hawks up, 9-0.
Mount St. Mary scored two in the fifth off a triple, but it was not enough to come back. Campbell singled again to put New Paltz up 10-2 in the seventh inning, and sealed the game. Amoroso earned the win for the Hawks.
“We’re just trying to win the day,” said New Paltz head coach Thomas Seay. “We’re just focused on getting that next win.”