By Brian Savard
LOUDONVILLE – The State University of New York at New Paltz baseball team’s road to the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament became slightly more difficult on Sunday at Siena College, as the Hawks lost a 4-2 decision to The College at Brockport.
With the score tied at 2-all, Brockport’s senior right fielder Kyle Tracy scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the sixth, and junior catcher John Craig tacked on an insurance run for good measure in the ninth with a single through the right side. The Hawks were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth, as the Golden Eagles completed the SUNYAC series sweep by winning the rubber game.
New Paltz drops to 12-17 overall and 4-9 in the SUNYAC with the loss. The Hawks visit SUNY Oneonta for a 12 p.m. SUNYAC doubleheader on Tuesday, April 15, at 12 p.m. Brockport rises to 14-10, 6-7 SUNYAC and faces SUNY Fredonia in a road contest on Tuesday, April 15, at 3 p.m.
Sunday’s game, which took place at Siena Field, served as a make-up from a postponement from two weekends ago. The Hawks received a solid outing from sophomore pitcher Christian Huertas, but their offense stranded nine runners on base after rapping out seven hits, and Brockport was able to cash in on New Paltz miscues to eke out the win.
Junior shortstop Anthony Barbetto put Brockport on the board in the top of the fifth, driving in two runs with a two-out single up the middle. Barbetto was then thrown out at second trying to advance on the throw to the plate, which ended the inning.
New Paltz countered in the bottom of the fifth, as sophomore second baseman Tyler Bell plated senior shortstop Steven Morse with a double to right field, and Bell came around to score on an RBI single up the middle by sophomore first baseman Chris Baltera to knot the score at 2-all.
Huertas suffered the loss, yielding three runs (one earned) off six hits, two wild pitches and one walk while striking out one. Junior pitcher Zack Melino and senior pitcher Rob Stankiewicz combined for 4 1/3 innings of hitless and scoreless relief, with Melino picking up the win and Stankiewicz earning the save.
Bell’s 2-for-5 performance that included a run scored, an RBI and a double led the Hawks offensively, while Tracy’s 2-for-3 day paced the Golden Eagles.