The baseball team has won two of their last three games and will go into spring break with a record of 2-3-1.
The Hawks got their first win of the season with a 6-1 victory over Purchase College on Wednesday, March 9. Hawks second-year pitcher Conor Donachie earned the win after pitching five innings, surrendering just one run on five hits res striking out two. Coming in for relief were second-year pitchers Brian LoRusso and Ryan Votypka, who each pitched two scoreless innings to seal the win for the Hawks. LoRusso and Votypka combined to allow only one hit on five strikeouts.
Offensively, New Paltz got contributions from multiple players. The Hawks scored their first run of the game on an error and then third-year co-captain Tyler Bell, who went 2-for-4 on the day with a stolen base, knocked in another run to make it a 2-0 game. Second-year outfielder Nick DePietro and first-year shortstop Ryan Frost both went 2-for-4 with a double each, and DePietro contributed an RBI and scored two runs. Third-year co-captain Taylor Anderson also got two hits and an RBI, and second-year second baseman Anthony Pantano knocked in a run with an RBI double in the sixth inning, and added a stolen base to his day.
“Getting our first win of the season against Purchase was great for the team,” Bell said. “It definitely helped with our confidence going into the Mount Saint Mary games.”
The Hawks then faced Mount Saint Mary College in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 12 and won the first game by a score of 9-1.
“It was a great win for us,” fourth-year co-captain Brett Wisner said. “We were clicking on all cylinders and everyone was doing what was necessary to get the win.”
Fourth-year pitcher Christian Huertas started for New Paltz and earned the victory as he threw six innings, surrendering one run on five hits and striking out five. LoRusso, Wisner, first-year pitcher Justin Stybel and third-year pitcher Kevin Frank combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Second-year outfielder Jake Williams led the Hawks offense, going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. DePietro had another two-hit performance including a double, while knocking in two runs. Anderson had another great day at the plate, going 2-for-3 and walking twice with an RBI and two runs scored, as well as stealing a base. Second-year outfielder Chris Moran also went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and an RBI, and he also stole two bases.
In the second game, the Hawks suffered a tough 5-4 loss as the Knights scored all five of their runs in the final inning of the game for the walk-off win.
“I have to tip my cap to the Mount Saint Mary players,” Hawks head coach Matt Righter said. “They didn’t give up in that last inning when we were up four to nothing. They just got a couple of hits, we really didn’t do anything wrong. They got a couple of big hits and that’s how they won, that’s baseball.”
Fourth-year co-captain Andrew DiNardo started the seventh inning by getting the first batter to fly out to center. A hit and two walks then loaded the bases for Mount Saint Mary, and Votypka was brought in to try and get New Paltz out of the jam. Three straight singles tied the game at 4-4 and put the winning run at third with only one out. Second-year pitcher Jordan Deitch was brought into a tough situation to try and send the game to extra-innings. After intentionally walking third-year outfielder Joey Pugliese, second-year second baseman Albert Estwick Jr. lined a single to center on a 0-2 pitch to give the Knights the victory.
“I know Ryan [Votypka] and Andrew [DiNardo] were not happy with the way the game ended,” Righter said. “But those are two guys who have been pitching really well, so I expect them to get right back out there and get the job done next time they’re called upon.”
Third-year pitcher Kyle Krebs started the game for New Paltz and tossed four scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit on three strikeouts. This was the first game Krebs started since he earned the victory against Grove City College back on March 8, 2014. Bell and Williams both went 3-for-4, with Williams scoring a run and contributing two extra-base hits with a double and a triple. DePietro went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Pantano and second-year catcher Tyler Laco each tallied an RBI.
“We definitely showed a lot of positives,” Bell said. “Our hitting was good once again and Kyle [Krebs] had a great start for us in his return as a starting pitcher. The last inning we sort of just took our foot off the pedal and Mount Saint Mary took advantage of it.”
On Monday, March 14 it was announced that Williams was named State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Baseball Player of the Week. He is the first New Paltz player to earn this honor since DiNardo received the accolade back in March of 2014.
Williams went 0-for-3 in the game against Purchase, but then went 6-for-9 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored in the doubleheader against Mount Saint Mary. In total, Williams hit .500 for the week.
The Hawks will next play in Florida and compete in the Russmatt Central Florida Invitational from Thursday, March 17 to Wednesday, March 23. New Paltz will compete in nine games, including three matchups against No. 1 SUNY Cortland. Last season, Cortland won the NCAA Div. III World Series and went 17-1 in SUNYAC play. The Red Dragons currently have a record of 12-1.
In the days leading up to the flight to Florida, Wisner said the team focused on staying healthy and mentally prepared.
“We made sure to spend as much time as possible with the trainers so we could be as healthy as possible for when we made it down south,” Wisner said. “[Trainers] Michelle [Johnson] and Bryan [Lurie] do an awesome job. Other than that we were just mentally preparing ourselves for the games, especially our SUNYAC opener against the defending national champions, Cortland.”
New Paltz will then continue SUNYAC play and have their home opener against SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, March 25.