The baseball team finished off their season by playing three State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) games against The College at Brockport over the weekend. The Hawks lost all three games and concluded their season with a record of 7-22.
The two teams played the first game of a doubleheader on April 25. The Hawks lost by a score of 2-1 in 10 innings.
Fourth-year co-Captain Mike Sparacino went 2-for-4 on the day and knocked in the Hawks lone run with a single in the first inning. The Golden Eagles tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning when fourth-year infielder Sean Geisel knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. The game remained scoreless until the 10th inning, when Golden Eagles third-year outfielder Eli Carrera notched a walk-off hit to give Brockport a 2-1 victory.
Fourth-year pitcher Shaun Hansen started for the Hawks and pitched six innings surrendering just four hits and one run while striking out one. Fourth-year pitcher Tyler Mitts pitched three and one-thirds innings before third-year pitcher Christian Huertas took over on the mound and surrendered the walk-off hit. The run was charged to Mitts. Golden Eagles third-year pitcher Tyler Clifford pitched all 10 innings for Brockport.
Later that day the Hawks lost by a score of 9-0. Mitts and first-year right fielder Chris Moran notched the only two hits for the Hawks in the game.
Then on April 26, the Hawks ended their season with a 16-7 loss to the Golden Eagles.
Hansen led the offense as he went 2-for-4 on the day with four RBIs. Third-year catcher Tyler Bell knocked in two more runs for the Hawks as he went 2-for-3 in the game. Sparacino and second-year first baseman Anthony Diana also tallied two hits in the game.
The Hawks scored three runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-0 lead. Brockport scored in the bottom half of the inning to make it 5-1, but then the Golden Eagles exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning to take a 10-5 lead that they would not surrender. Golden Eagles third-year first baseman Chris Davis tied the game with a double that knocked in two runs. Fourth-year second baseman Jake Kennedy then lined a single into left field to score Davis and put the Golden Eagles ahead for good.
Despite the fact that the Hawks lost all three games to Brockport, Hawks Head Coach Matt Righter looks at the team’s performance in the first game as a positive and said that it set the tone for the rest of the games.
“The first game against Brockport, we took the early lead 1-0, then they came back on a hit and run and tied it 1-1,” he said. “After such a tough season we were right there playing that first game. I think if you win that first game you’ll have momentum go to your side. We were right there, we win that game then anything can happen.”
The team’s 7-22 record this season was a downgrade from the 14-22 record the team posted last season. The Hawks had to deal with many canceled games among other issues this season.
“We were faced with a lot of adversity between not having our field and the tough schedule we had to play with,” Righter said. “The weather, the field, the strength of schedule, it was a lot of adversity.”
Looking for improvement next year, the Hawks will be without Sparacino, Hansen and Mitts as they will not be returning to the Hawks next season, along with fourth-year co-Captains Richard Guido and Brian Solomon. Fourth-years Stanley DeLaCruz, Jesse Vahamonde, Roy Missall and Matt Lawson will also not be returning next season. Mitts noted what he will miss the most from his time at New Paltz.
“I will remember all the road trips, practices, and games with my fellow seniors and teammates,” Mitts said. “It wouldn’t have been the same without them.”
Righter hopes that his team carry over their hard play from the end of this season to the beginning of next season.
“We want to have a better start next year than we did this year,” he said. “Finding a way to do that will help for a better overall season. That same work ethic and toughness will ultimately help us find a way to win close games.”
Looking ahead to the next season, Mitts also noted the development of the younger players for the Hawks in the future.
“The most positive thing we can take from the season is the experience the younger guys have got,” he said. “That will be big for them moving forward.”