Baseball Aims To Spring Back

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The baseball team dropped its record to 10-15 overall this season after losing two out of three conference games at home against SUNY Oswego, which brought the Hawks’ SUNYAC record to 2-7.

Saturday, the team split a doubleheader, getting shutout in the first game 4-0, and winning the second 5-4. They lost the Sunday game in the ninth-inning 7-6.

In the first game Saturday, Oswego scored first and often, driving in a single run in the second, third and fourth innings, courtesy of RBIs from designated hitter Eric Hamilton, right- fielder John Rauseo and third baseman Tim Smith. The Lakers tacked on an additional run in the bottom of the eight when left-fielder Dan Saccocio stole home on a double steal attempt.

The Hawks struggled against Oswego starting pitcher Brendyn Karinckak, who threw a complete game shutout, holding the Hawks to 10 base runners through nine innings of work.

The southpaw struck out five and walked just one.

“He pitched well inside,” Head Coach Matt Righter said of Karinckak. “He kept our hitters off-balance with a good change-up.”

Two bright spots in the New Paltz lineup were catcher Tyler Bell and third baseman Andrew DiNardo, who were both 2-for-4.

Third-year pitcher Brian Solomon started the game for the Hawks and took the loss, giving up three runs and seven hits over five innings.

Second-year right-handed pitcher Christian Huertes surrendered one unearned in three hitless innings of relief.

New Paltz again fell behind early in the second game of the doubleheader when Oswego scored two runs in their half of the first inning off fifth-year Andrew Grann, after he allowed two hits and a runner reached base on an error by shortstop DiNardo.

“[The pitching staff] had to overcome some adversity,” Righter said of the team’s eight errors in the game.

The Hawks have the lowest fielding percentage in the conference and lead the SUNYAC in errors with 52.

Grann settled down to throw a complete game, striking out eight and walking one. Grann allowed four runs, only two of which were earned.

Entering the seventh-inning, down 4-1, New Paltz rallied beginning with three consecutive singles, first from third-year, infielder Stanley DeLaCruz. Fourth-year Captain David Lostaglio singled to right, advancing DeLaCruz to second. Fourth-year Captain Steven Morse singled to left, driving in DeLaCruz.

After a series of hit batters and wild pitches, third-year Captain Richard Guido drew a walk on a wild pitch, allowing Morse to score the tying run. Bell earned an RBI, driving in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly ball to right field.

To start the Sunday game, Righter said he decided to put first-year Robert Fitzpatrick in the leadoff position, a move that paid off as he singled to start the game. Fitzpatrick was pinch ran for by Bret Wisner who later scored on an error.

After two RBIs from Bell, the Hawks led 6-4 coming into the bottom of the ninth. But the Lakers came back to score three runs in the last inning, including a two-run homerun.

Upcoming, the Hawks have a six- game stretch over five days between Friday and Tuesday, including doubleheaders against SUNY Fredonia and SUNY Oneonta.

If there is any team that can handle the packed schedule of the next week, Righter said it’s his, who have experience playing multiple games over consecutive days this season at both the Ripken Experience and Snowbird Classic tournaments.

“We’ve been in every game,” Righter said.