By David Spiegel
OLD WESTBURY –
The SUNY New Paltz baseball team (3-11) was unable to hold off The College at Old Westbury’s (7-9) late rally and fell to the Panthers, 7-6, in non-conference action. Tuesday’s nine-inning game was played as a makeup for a postponed March 10th doubleheader.
Old Westbury left fielder Paul Valerio stroked a one-out single to left center in the bottom of the eighth, scoring pinch hitter Jacob Coners from second to give the Panthers the lead and eventually the win in Tuesday’s contest. Freshman relief pitcher Christian Huertas suffered his first loss of the season after allowing the winning run in his only inning on the mound. Panthers reliever Tyler Kapela earned the win after two scoreless innings in relief, while Alex DiSanto picked up the save with a perfect ninth inning.
The Hawks held a 6-1 lead in the fifth before Old Westbury battled back into the game. The Panthers added a pair of runs in the home half of the fifth on an error and a wild pitch, cutting the deficit to three.
The Panthers put together three runs in the seventh to tie the game. Second baseman/shortstop Eddie Hernandez scored the first run on a passed ball, which also advanced first baseman Brian Walsh to third. He later scored on a throwing error by the pitcher that left runners on second and third. Designated hitter John Angelino scored the tying run on a passed ball before the Hawks were able to escape the inning.
Conors pinch hit for catcher Robert Crocitto to lead off the eighth for the Panthers. His singled, followed by a sacrifice bunt, put him in scoring position for Valerio, who knocked in the game-winning run.
In his first plate appearance of the season, junior designated hitter Andrew Grann brought senior third baseman Matt Prescia in to score from third on a sacrifice fly to center to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the second frame. The Hawks added to the lead in the third, as senior left fielder Anthony Repetto reached on an error, allowing senior center fielder Matt Carr to score and improve the lead to two runs.
The Panthers added their first run in the bottom of the third as Crocitto doubled in right fielder Peter Romeo, but the Hawks fired back in the next two innings. Junior catcher David Lostaglio singled in senior first baseman Thomas Pinnola in the fourth, and then freshman second baseman Matt Dixon brought junior shortstop Steven Morse around to score on another single to give New Paltz a 4-1 lead after four.
Grann picked up his second RBI of the game the next inning, as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Repetto. Lostaglio followed with a single to bring in Prescia.
Senior starting pitcher Michael Pinnola tossed two innings, allowing just one hit and no runs in the effort.