Baseball Goes The Distance

The baseball team has a record of 4-6 in their last ten games played, four of those ending in extra innings.

On Saturday, April 11, the Hawks lost the first game in a three-game road series 7-3 in a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) game against SUNY Fredonia.

New Paltz cracked 10 hits but managed just three runs and left six runners stranded. Third-year shortstop and pitcher Andrew DiNardo, fourth-year first baseman and pitcher Shaun Hansen, second-year first baseman and outfielder Anthony Diana and fourth-year co-Captain Richard Guido all notched two hits apiece for the Hawks. DiNardo drove in two runs while Guido accounted for the Hawks’ other RBI.

The following day, the Hawks dropped the first game of a doubleheader to the Blue Devils 6-5.

Hansen earned the start and went five frames while allowing two earned runs and striking out five.

Offensively, New Paltz registered eight hits with the top of the order accounting for four base knocks. First-year outfielder and infielder Jake Williams finished 2-for-3 with a run while DiNardo went 2-for-3 as well knocking in two RBI and scored two runs.

Third-year catcher Tyler Bell, fourth-year co-Captain Mike Sparacino, Diana and first-year infielder Anthony Pantano accounted for the additional hits for the Hawks as Diana drove in the Hawks’ other run in game one.

In the second game, the Hawks took the victory 12-10. The Hawks scored their 12 runs on 11 hits.

Williams led the way with a 3-for-5 performance, scoring two runs and driving in another. Bell collected two hits and drove in a game-high four RBIs. Bell hit a bases-clearing single in the fourth inning. DiNardo added two more hits and three RBIs. Diana and first-year infielder Chris Amato both added two hits apiece with Amato driving in two runs.

Fourth-year co-Captain Brian Soloman earned the win on the mound throwing eight innings, allowing five earned runs and striking out six. Soloman leads the Hawks pitching staff in strikeouts with 23.

The Hawks began a four-game homestand at Cantine Park in Saugerties on Tuesday, April 14 in a 9-7 nonconference loss against Union College.

The Hawks sprinkled 11 hits on the evening but left 16 runners on base and were plagued by four errors. New Paltz was leading 6-3 entering the sixth inning when the lights at the stadium turned off at 10 p.m., causing a 15-minute delay.

Diana scored a game-high three runs while Hansen drove in two.

Less than 24 hours later, the Hawks lost a 4-3 game in 13 innings against SUNY Oneonta in a SUNYAC matchup.

This was the longest game for New Paltz since Feb. 25, 2006 when the Hawks defeated Maryville College 5-4 in 14 innings in Ashland, Virginia.

Hawks fourth-year pitcher Tyler Mitts earned the starting nod and threw a solid six innings of one-run baseball, scattering five hits and striking out two. For Mitts, this was the longest outing of his career.

On Friday, April 18, the Hawks began a three-game series against SUNY Plattsburgh. In the first game, the Hawks took the 5-3 victory over the Cardinals.

DiNardo hit two home runs for the Hawks. He finished the contest 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. DiNardo earned the save on the mound as well.

Second-year pitcher Brett Wisner earned his first win of the year as he threw five frames, scattering four hits and striking out two.

The following day, the Hawks split a doubleheader with a 9-8 win in an eight-inning first game. They fell 10-5 in the second game.

In the first game, New Paltz came back from a 8-0 deficit, by scoring eight unanswered runs before producing a walk-off hit in the bottom of the eighth.

Hansen hit a grand-slam for the Hawks in the fifth inning to bring them to an 8-5 deficit. Later that inning, Williams hit a three-run triple to tie the game. Fourth-year co-Captain Richard Guido knocked in Hansen who crossed the plate with the game-winning run.

In continuation of their remaining schedule of only SUNYAC matchups, the Hawks split a doubleheader with SUNY Oneonta on Tuesday, April 21 in Oneonta.

The Hawks fell 2-1 in nine innings during the first game.

With his infield single in the sixth, Williams extended his hitting streak to nine games and has hit safely in 12 of the last 13 games.

In the nightcap, the Hawks took a 4-2 win in 12 innings.

Hansen hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning for the Hawks.

With the game tied at two, Sparacino led off the twelfth inning with a double down the left field line and was brought in to score by Pantano single to right. After Pantano stole second base, third-year catcher and outfielder Taylor Anderson came through with an insurance RBI single to right to give New Paltz the 4-2 victory.

Hansen said all of the extra inning games the team has played speaks volumes about their heart and fight.

“Especially since three out of the four games we’ve had to come from behind to tie the game causing extra innings,” Hansen said. “We’ve developed more of a ‘never give up’ mentality something that we struggled with in the earlier parts of the season. Our pitchers have stepped up big time in the late innings being able to come in and shut down the opposing team allowing us a chance to keep the game alive.”

With an overall record of 7-19 and 4-11 standing in SUNYAC play, the Hawks will finish their regular season with a three-game conference series against The College at Brockport. The first game of that series will be on Friday, April 24 at 3 p.m. The next day, the Hawks will face the Golden Eagles in a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Head Coach Matt Righter said the Hawks are going to have to hit and execute their little plays.

“All of the little plays take a little bit of extra focus and discipline,” Righter said. “Those are the things that are going to help us win these tough games coming up this weekend.”

Sparacino said their upcoming series against Brockport is extremely important for the team.

“One point of emphasis we have been placing on our preparation is to not get ahead of ourselves and keep a sense of urgency throughout every inning of all three games,” Sparacino said. “I believe this team is catching its stride at just the right time, and we are heading into this series with the most confidence we have had all year.”

About Melissa Kramer 157 Articles
Melissa Kramer is a fourth-year journalism major who lives for sports and music.