NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – Playing their first game on Loren Campbell Field this season, the baseball team at the State University of New York at New Paltz fell to visiting No. 6 SUNY Cortland 6-2 on Thursday afternoon in SUNYAC action.
With the defeat, the Hawks fall to 10-9, 3-4 SUNYAC and will now host SUNY Oneonta in a three-game series, starting tomorrow at 3 p.m. The Red Dragons, meanwhile, improve to 23-5, 8-2 SUNYAC and will travel to SUNY Plattsburgh for a three-game set also beginning on Friday.
Junior right-hander Kyle Eckert (New Paltz, N.Y./New Paltz) earned the starting nod and pitched well, tossing five frames of three-hit ball, allowing just one run while striking out three. Eckert threw 77 pitches in the defeat.
At the plate, three players finished with two hits. Juniors Nick DePietro (Carmel, N.Y./Carmel), Dwayne Page (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Connetquot) and Anthony Pantano (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) all tallied a pair of base knocks.
Senior leftfielder Taylor Anderson (East New Market, Md./Cambridge-South Dorchester) robbed a home run in the first, taking away the long ball at the fence and also had the presence of mind to double up the runner at second base to keep Cortland off the scoreboard.
The contest remained a 0-0 deadlock until the sixth when the Red Dragons plated three runs, including a two-run blast to left with two outs to take a 3-0 lead.
Cortland stretched that lead to 6-0 with three runs in the top of the ninth before the Hawks broke through and ruined the shutout bid with two scores in the bottom of the frame.
Sophomore Justin Ganca (Merrick, N.Y./Bellmore John F. Kennedy) ripped an RBI double to left center, scoring junior Jake Williams (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) and Ganca later scored on a throwing error by Cortland's shortstop to make the contest 6-2 in favor of the Red Dragons.
Unfortunately, the late rally was short lived as the Hawks suffered the home-opening loss.
Following two separate SUNYAC series, these two programs will face off once again on Easter Sunday (April 16) in a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m.