New Paltz Baseball Closes Out Snowbird Classic with Split

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Steven Morse
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – The State University of New York at New Paltz baseball team closed out its games at the Snowbird Classic Tuesday with a split, losing to No. 15 Birmingham-Southern College, 6-3, before topping Otterbein University, 7-0.
The Hawks move to 8-8 overall and face No. 8 SUNY Cortland in their first State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) series of the season this weekend, which will be held at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. New Paltz faces Cortland on Friday, March 21, in a 10 a.m. doubleheader before finishing off the series on Saturday, March 22, at 12 p.m. Birmingham-Southern advances to 17-3 overall and squares off with the College of Wooster tomorrow at 11 a.m., while Otterbein drops to 7-4 overall and takes on Nichols College tomorrow at 12:30 a.m.
No. 15 Birmingham-Southern 6, New Paltz 3
Birmingham-Southern never trailed in the game, and New Paltz plated three unearned runs in the ninth to erase the Panthers' shutout bid.
Junior first baseman David Bourbonnais put Birmingham-Southern on the board in the first, plating sophomore third baseman Matt Brown. The Panthers broke the game open with a three-run fifth, as Bourbonnais came around to score on a wild pitch, while senior left fielder Jeremy Hatley and freshman designated hitter Zach Wingate had back-to-back RBI hits to push the advantage to 4-0. Birmingham-Southern's final runs of the game came in the sixth, as two runs crossed following a single by Brown.
An error by the Panther shortstop with two outs allowed the Hawks' first run of the game to score in the ninth, while junior left fielder J.T. Kirk (Lake Grove, N.Y./Sachem North) and freshman pinch hitter Kyle Kuttruf (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) touched home following a single by sophomore center fielder Tom Dieckhoff (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) shortly thereafter.
Senior pitcher Andrew Grann (Oceanside, N.Y./Oceanside) was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) off nine hits while striking out five in five innings of work. Birmingham-Southern's junior pitcher Paul Caudill earned the win, working 6 1/3 scoreless innings, while freshman pitcher Jack Rhodes came in during the ninth inning with two outs and two runners on base to pick up the save.
Senior second baseman Steven Morse (East Northport, N.Y./Commack) paced New Paltz's attack by going 2-for-3 at the plate, while Kirk batted 2-for-2. For Birmingham-Southern, five different student-athletes had multiple base knocks in the Panthers' 13-hit effort.
New Paltz 7, Otterbein 0
New Paltz finished out its southern trips with a .500 overall record following a 7-0 blanking of Otterbein, as the Hawks posted their first shutout of the season and poured on offense, too, with 14 hits.

Dieckhoff opened up scoring in the fifth inning, drawing a bases-loaded walk to put the Hawks on the board. New Paltz broke open a 4-0 lead with a three-run sixth, as Morse and Kirk had RBI singles before junior designated hitter Shaun Hansen (Southold, N.Y./Greenport) came around to score on a Cardinal fielding error.

The Hawks added insurance runs in the eighth, with two runs coming across on Otterbein miscues and the game's final run touching off a sacrifice fly by senior first baseman David Lostaglio (Milton, N.Y./Marlboro Central).

Sophomore pitcher Christian Huertas (Bronx, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) earned the win on the hill for New Paltz, scattering five hits and striking out two over 7 1/3 scoreless innings. Sophomore pitcher Nick Muse suffered the loss for Otterbein, yielding four runs (three earned) off 11 hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings of work.

Hansen and Morse each had three hits to key the Hawk offense, while junior left fielder Billy Harkenrider went 2-for-4 to lead Otterbein.