The baseball team dropped their recent three -game series against No. 13 SUNY Oswego.
Despite the loss, Hawks head coach Matt Righter believes that the team can get back to their winning ways after fixing a few minor mistakes.
“We lost because we did not get smaller jobs done throughout the game, not because they are better than us,” Righter said. “If we took care of a few of those little details, we would have won the series.”
The Hawks played the series against the Lakers on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2, with a doubleheader being played on the first day.
In the first game of the doubleheader, Oswego started off strong by driving in four runs in the first inning. A three-run home run from third-year third baseman Eric Hamilton and an RBI single from third-year second baseman Zach Kollar capped off the inning.
The Hawks seemed to cut it close in the top of the fourth after fourth-year co-captain Andrew DiNardo hit a two-run home run to left field and third-year co-captain Taylor Anderson capitalized on an error to run home to cut the deficit to 4-3.
The Hawks were unable to come back as the Lakers scored five unanswered runs to win the game 9-3.
Coming off a tough loss in the first game of the doubleheader, the Hawks seemed to have trouble getting started in the second game.
Oswego scored three runs in the second to go up 3-0 until New Paltz jumped on the scoreboard after second-year centerfielder Jake Williams took advantage of a groundball double play to narrow the score to 3-1.
Despite Oswego extending its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the third, third-year first baseman Anthony Diana hit a two-run home run to trim the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fourth before second-year designated hitter Chris Moran hit a single up the middle in the top of the seventh to bring home second-year right fielder Nick DePietro to tie the game.
Although the Hawks had a strong effort, Oswego sealed the win in the bottom of the seventh when fourth-year designated hitter Matt Capobianco hit an RBI double for a walk-off hit.
Fourth-year co-captain Brett Wisner said that despite the losses on the first day, it does not change his belief in the team’s potential.
“I definitely think that this is the best team I’ve been a part of as a Hawk,” Wisner said. “We are a very cohesive unit and work together very well.”
The Hawks started off strong in the final game the following day. Despite going down 2-0 in the beginning of the game, New Paltz was able to quickly tie the game after Anderson drove home Williams and Moran on an RBI single.
The following inning featured a solo go-ahead home run by Hawks second-year catcher Tyler Laco and a run scored on an error to put the Hawks up 4-2.
The Hawks could not hold on in the eighth inning as the Lakers loaded the bases only to see Golden Eagles third-year outfielder Wes Randall rip a game-winning three-run triple to push Oswego ahead 5-4.
Righter reported that conference matchups are the most beneficial games because of the challenges they raise.
“I believe that the SUNYAC is the toughest conference in the country,” Righter said. “Cortland is second and Oswego is ninth in the Div. III baseball top 25. Brockport is also receiving votes. It won’t be long before New Paltz reaches that top 25 mark, but to get there we will first have to prove to everyone that we belong by beating both teams in and out of our conference. To me, every game is an opportunity to show Div. III baseball that New Paltz is a team to take seriously. It won’t be long, but we still have work to do.”
New Paltz was scheduled to host New York University on Tuesday, April 5 and Lehman College on Wednesday, April 6. However, both games were postponed indefinitely due to poor field conditions.
New Paltz and Fredonia will next play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 9 beginning at 12 p.m., followed by a noon single game on Sunday, April 10, where Wisner looks for the team to be ready for this important conference matchup.
“My expectations are that we will be extremely focused and ready to go,” Wisner said. “This is a huge series for us and as long as everyone gets their job done, we’ll be fine.”