New Paltz men’s baseball tackled Cortland four times last Saturday and Sunday in two double headers.
In recent years, Cortland has been a challenge for New Paltz. How would the team fare this year?
On Saturday, April 17 the Hawks traveled to Dragons territory for the first double header. New Paltz batted first, and first-year third-basemen Jack Greco kicked it off with a single to centerfield. Although a good start, New Paltz could not capitalize and left Greco on base.
The bottom of the first was rough, the Dragons scored five runs on six hits and one Hawk error. Similarly, the bottom of the fourth was also tough. Cortland added another eight runs to their total.
During the top of the sixth, New Paltz prevented themselves from being shut out. First-year catcher Vincent Siano got an RBI sac-fly that scored Greco.
There was no coming back from game one. Cortland took the win 17-1, thankfully game two was much closer.
Cortland again scored first, but this time it was only one run and it was in the second. New Paltz wasn’t far behind and could catch up.
In the top of the fourth, third-year designated-hitter Jesse Keshner hit a home-run to tie the game. In the same inning, second-year third-basemen Nick Harvey and fourth-year outfielder Matt McGee each singled and second-year catcher Justin Harvey walked. Unfortunately, after two strikeouts, no more runs were scored.
New Paltz had another break in the top of the sixth. Keshner walked and Nick Harvey reached first on a Cortland error. Following that, McGee singled and a hit from third-year shortstop Matt Laurelli brought Keshner and Harvey home.
Things were looking up, but Cortland wasn’t going down without a fight. In the bottom of the sixth they battled hard for the lead back. A Dragon was on first due to getting hit by a pitch, and fourth-year centerfielder Scott Giordano brought him home with a double for the tie. New Paltz could not get out of the inning without Cortland adding another run to steal the win, 4-3. Still, the Hawks looked much better here than game one.
The next day, it was the Hawks’ turn to host. Interestingly, New Paltz again had a bad first game which resulted in another 17-1 loss. The third and ninth innings proved to be the most problematic for the Hawks as the Dragons scored four runs in each. The lone Hawk score came from a McGee double which brought Nick Harvey home. Cortland tacked their runs on sporadically throughout the nine innings.
New Paltz was down to their last game to turn the series around. They looked better defensively and were able to hold Cortland to just five runs. Those runs came during the top of the third; the Dragons scored four runs on four hits. One inning later they got their last run.
In the bottom of the fifth, fourth-year centerfielder Ryan Geraghty earned an RBI that brought in first-year right fielder Justin Ortiz. The final score was 5-1, Cortland.
As challenging as these games were, New Paltz kept their head held high and showed Cortland they are capable of earning runs on them.
The games put New Paltz to an overall record of 4-8 and 2-8 in the conference.
On Tuesday, April 27, the boys will travel to Plattsburg for another double header where they will hope to turn their luck around.