Spring is just around the corner, which means the season openings of some of our most beloved sports have just begun.
The New Paltz Men’s Baseball Team began their season in Maryland on Saturday, Feb. 19 with a 15-1 win against Mount Saint Mary College. Since then, the Hawks have traveled to Virginia Beach to take on a two day, three game series.
First, on Friday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m., New Paltz took on the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins. As the away team, New Paltz batted first and first-year designated hitter Joe Patane had a good eye in the box and walked. Shortly after, second-year center fielder Jordan Rios doubled to left center to bring him home, and put New Paltz on the board.
In the bottom of the first, the Marlins scored two runs off of a double and a home run. They also earned another home run during the bottom of the fifth. New Paltz didn’t retaliate until the top of the sixth. First-year left fielder Ryan Mackle reached first on an error, which allowed second-year right fielder Justin Ortiz to score from third. Unfortunately, that was the last time the Hawks scored whereas the Marlins added more hits and another home run to their day. In the end, New Paltz fell 8-2.
Just a few hours later, New Paltz had another game against Ithaca College. New Paltz lost this game as well, however it was a cleaner and tighter matchup.
Patane walked again, and stole second, so when Rios singled he was close enough to score. Patane got to score as well, in the top of the sixth, after fifth-year first-baseman Dean Stalzer singled him home. Shortly after that, Rios singled Stalzer home. New Paltz had a good 3-0 lead going on.
Ithaca tied the match during the bottom of the sixth on triples and singles. Then, both teams went scoreless for a little while. During the top of the ninth, fourth-year third-baseman Michael Boccarossa doubled to right center and scored Mackle to break the tie.
New Paltz just needed to hold out one more half inning, but Ithaca got the better of them. They tied the game 4-4, then a New Paltz throwing error gave Ithaca the time they needed to tack on another point and win the game.
The next day at 11 a.m., New Paltz faced Ithaca one more time and hoped to change the outcome, but unfortunately some earlier struggles continued.
While the Hawks managed to score a lot, (with eight runs, this was the second highest New Paltz score of the season) Ithaca’s lineup was relentless. It should be noted that when New Paltz is down they don’t give up: the team went from behind 10-3 to 10-8 between the fifth and sixth inning.
To accomplish this, Rios hit a homerun and first-year second-baseman Tommy Krider was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to walk in a run and fourth-year designated-hitter Jesse Keshner crossed home plate twice.
New Paltz Baseball has many games coming up to break out of this mini slump. They will be heading to Fishkill for their first series in New York on Saturday, March 5 where they will face Mount Saint Mary’s, a team they hope to continue their personal winning streak against.