The baseball team currently holds a record of 7-5 after sweeping their doubleheader against Bard College on Wednesday, March 29.
Over the course of this season, the Hawks have defeated two nationally ranked teams and are gearing up to play eight State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games from Monday, April 3 through Sunday, April 9.
Due to the inclement weather a few weeks ago, the Hawks will now begin conference play on Monday and Tuesday with a three-game series against No. 13 SUNY Oswego. New Paltz will follow up with a three-game series against SUNY Fredonia and a doubleheader against No. 2 SUNY Cortland over the weekend.
Hawks head coach Arlan Freeman said that in order to approach these matchups, the team has to take every game one pitch at a time.
“We need to play every pitch like it’s the last pitch of our career,” Freeman said. “I’ve watched some of the top-tier teams in the country play, and the sense of urgency they have every pitch, they see it as the most important pitch of the game. I would like to see our team harness that.”
Last season, the Hawks went 8-10 in conference matchups. However, the Hawks took a two games to one series win against top-ranked SUNY Cortland when they defeated them 4-3 on Saturday, March 19 last year. This led the Hawks to a 20-win season that they will look to build upon this season.
The weather has been a limiting factor for the team in recent weeks, as the Hawks have only had six outdoor turf practices as of Wednesday, March 29, according to Freeman. The rest of the practices have been indoors due to the inclement weather.
“We have beaten two nationally ranked teams so far so I think we’re in a good spot,” Freeman said. “Would I like to have more wins? Yes. Do I expect to get a win every time we step out on the field? Yes, but we won’t always get that. We’re still coming together as a unit and I think our best baseball is ahead of us.”
In the first game of the doubleheader against Bard College on Wednesday, March 29, the Hawks won by a score of 8-3.
Third-year catcher Dwayne Page drove in the first two runs of the game in the first inning on a triple to right center field. Third-year designated hitter Chris Moran also drove in two runs during the game when he hit a double to left center field in the sixth.
Third-year center fielder Jake Williams and first-year pinch hitter Matt Warshaw had notable performances as well, as they both drove in runs in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
Second-year pitcher Justin Stybel earned the win for the Hawks. He pitched two innings, allowing no runs on one hit.
New Paltz won the second game by a score of 4-2.
Looking at the SUNYAC conference standings, the Hawks will take on a 12-4 Oswego team in their next three games. The Lakers swept the Hawks in their three-game season series last season, with New Paltz losing by one run in two of those games.
On Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8, the Hawks then take on an 8-10 SUNY Fredonia squad, who were unable to defeat the Hawks at all last year in the three games they played against each other.
“After the games against Bard, we’re going into one of the toughest conference weekends ever when you’re looking at numbers,” Freeman said. “Cortland being No. 2 then we play Oswego, who is ranked in the top 15. Playing 50-plus innings against those two teams are really gonna help show what we’re made of.”