The SUNY New Paltz baseball team had a mixed start to their season, splitting their double header against the Mount Saint Mary Knights at home on Saturday before falling to the Stevens Ducks on the road the following day.
Part one of New Paltz’s double header began quietly, with scoring only beginning in the bottom of the third inning when Knights fourth-year infielder Nick Rizzo hit a single to bring home second-year shortstop Devin Tait and fourth-year pitcher/outfielder Anthony Rizzo to put them on the board, 2-0.
The boys in blue and orange answered in the top of the seventh when third-year outfielder Ryan Geraghty ran across home plate following a Knights wild pitch, scoring the first run of the season for the Hawks. Not long after, fourth-year outfielder Julian Francisco added another run after a grounder to second by fourth-year outfielder Matt Warshaw.
However, a Rizzo run in the last play of the bottom of the eighth sealed the 3-2 win for Mount Saint Mary’s.
The second game of the day swung in the Hawks’ favor right off the bat as second-year infielder Jesse Keshner drove home third-year infielder Dean Stalzer and fourth-year Matt McGee off of a well-placed double. The Knights scored a run of their own as third-year catcher Jaiden Bonet rounded all four bases to put his team on the board, 2-1. It didn’t take long for the Hawks to return the favor as Francisco completed his run around the diamond to tack on another run for New Paltz.
The Hawks finalized their victory with two successive runs in the top of the seventh, with runs by McGee and Keshner to finalize their first win of the season, 5-1.
The following day, the Hawks took flight to Hoboken to take on the Steven College Ducks, hoping to initiate a win streak as they started their season. With the Hawks winning their last outing against the Ducks 10-9, another win against them with nine talented first-year faces on the Hawks’ roster was not out of the question.
Unfortunately, the Ducks had a blazing start, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning to put New Paltz down early.
It was the top of the fourth inning when the Hawks found an answer to their rivals as Keshner stole a base, lending to third-year infielder Dean Stalzer scoring to cut his team’s deficit to two. With Francisco scoring another run later that same inning, the Hawks’ fortunes looked to be on the up and up.
Crushingly, this wasn’t the case as Stevens scored five runs in the bottom of the same inning to give them an 8-2 lead by the time the fifth inning rolled around. Stevens added onto their total even further, tagging on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to increase their advantage to 10-2, which would end up being the game’s final score.
The boys will play another double header against the Centenary University Cyclones on Saturday in New Jersey, with the first game at noon and the second game at 2 p.m. The following day, the team will travel to Purchase to play a double header against the Manhattanville College Valiants at noon and 2 p.m., respectively.