New Paltz Baseball Falls to Heidelberg, 13-3, in Florida Opener; Game Two Suspended

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – The State University of New York at New Paltz baseball team faced Heidelberg University in a doubleheader on Saturday, falling to the Student Princes in game one 13-3. Game two was suspended in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Hawks trialing 8-6. The contest will be concluded at a later date.
The Hawks are sitting at 0-3 and will play Wooster tomorrow at 12 p.m. followed by a contest against UMass-Boston at 3:30 p.m. Heidelberg, meanwhile, improves to 7-0 and will play Johns Hopkins tomorrow at 12 p.m.
Game 1 (Heidelberg 13, New Paltz 3)
The Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but the Student Princes' offense proved to be too much and outscored New Paltz 13-2 the remainder of the contest, outhitting the Hawks 13-9 in the game.
Senior second baseman Stanley DeLaCruz (Bronx, N.Y./High School of International Business and Finance) and freshman right fielder Chris Moran (Wading River, N.Y./Shoreham-Wading River) both cracked two hits apiece while senior designated hitter Shaun Hansen (Southold, N.Y./Greenport) drove in a team-high two RBI. Junior shortstop Andrew DiNardo (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay-East Fishkill) also drove in one run.
Senior right hander Tyler Mitts (Nanuet, N.Y./Don Bosco Prep recorded six strikeouts out of the bullpen, throwing 4 2/3 innings in relief.
For Heidelberg, starting pitcher Kyle Fluharty threw 7 2/3 innings, striking out six Hawks. Third baseman Adam Hershberger and left fielder Christian Verde combined for six hits and six RBI in game one.
In the top of the first with two outs, DeLaCruz reached base on a throwing error by Heidelberg's third baseman and eventually scored on a DiNardo base knock to right center to hand New Paltz a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, that lead was short-lived as Heidelberg plated five runs, thanks to three straight doubles, in the bottom of the frame to claim a 5-1 lead.
The Student Princes would increase their lead to 9-1, scoring four more runs in the bottom of the third, again using three straight doubles, to put New Paltz in an eight-run hole.
New Paltz looked to rally in the fourth as Hansen ripped a double to right center, scoring DiNardo to inch within 9-2. Heidelberg had another answer in the bottom of the frame, however, and scored three more runs to increase their lead to 12-2.
In the top of the sixth, sophomore pinch runner Brett Wisner (Forest Hills, N.Y./Forest Hills) stole second and advanced to third on a DeLaCruz single to right center. Hansen again came through with another RBI on a groundout to plate Wisner and cut the deficit to 12-3. Heidelberg tacked on an additional run in the eighth to hand New Paltz the game one defeat.
Game 2 (Suspended, BOT 8 with Heidelberg leading 8-6)
The Hawks were trailing Heidelberg entering the bottom of the eighth when the lights at the Port Charlotte facility turned off at midnight, causing a delay that eventually moved to the suspension of the contest.
New Paltz found themselves trailing 5-0 after the top of the first but managed to score a pair in the bottom of the frame to cut into the deficit, 5-2. The Hawks then notched a run in the third and two in the fourth to knot the game at 5-5.
The Student Princes reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth before New Paltz again tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth. However, Heidelberg would score twice in the top of the eighth inning to take an 8-6 edge before the lights turned off at the complex.
The Hawks were outhitting Heidelberg 13-6 with DeLaCruz leading the offense with a 3-for-4 performance. Hansen drove in three runs and both Sparacino and freshman outfielder Jake Williams (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) had a pair of hits with Moran scoring twice.
Five pitchers appeared for the Hawks with freshman southpaw Brian LoRusso (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) throwing 3 2/3 innings, recording four strikeouts. Freshman righty Luke Christy (New York City, N.Y./NYC Lab High School for Collaborative Studies), Hansen and DiNardo combined for six strikeouts out of the bullpen.
After falling behind 5-0, New Paltz did not waste any time coming back with Williams starting the rally with a single up the middle. Following a wild pitch that advanced Williams to second, Moran came through with a base knock to right to plate Williams. DeLaCruz then registered an infield single and the Hawks used a double steal to get two runners into scoring position. Hansen notched an RBI groundout to score Moran and create a 5-2 game.
In the bottom of the second, New Paltz recorded back-to-back hits with two outs, including a base knock by junior catcher Taylor Anderson (East New Market, Md./Cambridge-South Dorchester), but could not reach the score column. But the Hawks broke through in the third when Sparacino recorded a two-out single to right to plate Hansen and bring New Paltz within 5-3.Hansen knotted the game at 5-5 in the fourth with a two-out, two run single to left that scored Moran and Anderson.
After Heidelberg regained the lead in the sixth, the Hawks threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. But a pair of strikeouts and a failed steal at home ended the potential big inning for New Paltz. The Student Princes scored twice in the top of the eighth off a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch to put the Hawks in an 8-6 hole before the suspension of the contest.