The Baseball team struck out in the 2013 SUNYAC Baseball Championship Tournament against SUNY Fredonia (4-6), who they faced in the first elimination game of the tournament after falling to SUNY Oswego (5-9) the day before.
Head Coach Matt Griffiths said the team expected to win the tournament and was disappointed after the loss. But their 12-6 conference record, the best in program history, gives them something to be proud of.
“I think that overall we had a great year. We got hot at the right time in the regular season and in conference play, but we got cold at the wrong time in SUNYACs,” Griffiths said. “We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, we made a few mistakes that we hadn’t been making in the regular season and unfortunately in baseball one bad inning or one mistake can cost you the game, especially at that level and on that stage.”
This marks the second time the team has made it to the tournament in three years. This may be a contributing factor to the loss, Griffiths said.
“I think at times, we’ve only been there twice in three years, never really before that, so I think that you try to do too much when you get into these situations where all you have to do is be the team we were that got us there,” he said.
Griffiths said the team wasted no time setting expectations and goals for next season. Offense is an aspect of the game the team will try to improve while pitching defense “was probably the best we’ve ever had,” he said.
The Hawks had a strong performance in the first inning with third-year Co-captain David Lostaglio hitting his first three-run home run of the year. He batted 5 for 8 with 6 RBI during the tournament.
“Hitting a home run was a complete feeling of joy and I really felt like a kid when I hit it to be honest,” Lostaglio said. “It brought out the kid in me.”
Griffiths said the home run was the “coolest” part of the tournament and described the instance as a “momentum changer.”
After his performance, Lostaglio was named to the SUNYAC All-Tournament team and leads the Hawks in batting average (.341), doubles (7), triples (2), RBI (20) and slugging percentage (.512).
Lostaglio said the team has vastly improved over last season.
“We worked harder than I think any other team that I’ve ever been a part of and definitely stepped it up from last year,” Lostaglio said. “I know that 2012 we had a down year, but we really worked hard to get where we were and it paid off. We had a great year and we had the best year in program history.”
Griffiths is optimistic about next season, even though 10 players are graduating. Between transfers and first-years, the team will be welcoming more than 10 players next season, he said. He hopes the departure of players will motivate returning players to work harder to fill the spots of the fourth-years.
Lostaglio said he is looking forward to meeting the new players Griffiths has recruited and making his last year memorable.
He expects to play in the tournament again next season and after this season’s success, the team is confident in their abilities, Lostaglio said.
“The goal is definitely to get back to the tournament and I would say to make a splash next year,” Lostaglio said. “I think we can do it, I think we could’ve done it this year but it just didn’t work out that way. But next year we can come back and we know what we expect of ourselves and know what we can do and I think we can make a run out of it for next season.”