The final strike has been thrown for the SUNY New Paltz Baseball team this season.
The team, which made the SUNYAC tournament last season for the first time since 2001, was unable to make the trip for a second straight year, finishing their season with an 18-21 record.
“Unfortunately we did not accomplish our goal of winning a championship this year,” Head Coach Matt Griffiths said. “At different times during the season we were playing certain aspects of the game well but did not put it together at the right time.”
The Hawks started off their 2012 campaign with a 4-4 record before heading into the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Ft. Myers, Fla., where the team squared off against colleges from across the country and compiled a 7-2 record.
In the final stretch of the season, the Hawks lost six straight games to both SUNYAC rivals Fredonia and Cortland, as well as a 14-4 loss to William Patterson University on April 24. Despite this, Griffiths said the team made strides at different points of the season.
“The team ran into a tough couple weeks during the second half of the year,” Griffiths said. “We lost a number of extra-inning games in conference and really hit a rough stretch. Still, there is lots to take from the season from a learning standpoint.”
Second-year catcher Dave Lostaglio, who finished his season with a .276 batting average and 16 RBIs, said the team did not finish where they wanted to and was unable to capitalize on certain aspects of their game.
“[The season] was disappointing to be honest,” Lostaglio said. “The team was excellent and we had a whole lot of talent, we just came up short.”
Lostaglio said the team’s biggest strength this season was their pitching staff, anchored by third-year starter Chris Chismar and second-year pitcher Andrew Grann.
Chismar finished his 2012 campaign with a 1.84 ERA and clocked in 63 strikeouts over the 53 innings he pitched. Grann went 6-3 this season, finishing with a 2.97 ERA.
Chismar was tabbed SUNYAC Baseball Pitcher of the Week for the week ending on April 8, after striking out 14 SUNY Oneonta batters — throwing 97 strikes and issuing just one walk. Similarly, Grann was awarded the honor for the week ending on March 25 after coming within one out of throwing a no-hitter against SUNY
“On the mound both Andrew Grann and Chris Chismar had great years,” Griffiths said.
On the offensive side of the ball, both Griffiths and Lostaglio said the team could have performed better. The team finished with a cumulative .298 batting average and knocking in 200 runs, but clutch hitting was their biggest weakness, Lostaglio said.
“We just couldn’t get the wins,” Lostaglio said. “We couldn’t win important games and couldn’t seem to get the big hit all season.”
Offensively, fourth-year first basemen and designated hitter Jake Cameron led the team in home runs and slugging percentage, finishing the season with a .591 mark, while third-year outfielder Matt Carr led the team with 28 RBIs. Both Cameron and Carr were awarded for their performances with second-team All-SUNYAC honors.
Overall, Griffiths said this season allows the Hawks to move forward and better prepare themselves for next season.
“We will look to improve every part of our game,” Griffiths said. “With the off season comes reevaluation of all aspects of our team. We want to improve in some areas more than others, but everything is looked at.”