By Monica D’Ippolito
NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz concluded its 2023 season with a series win over SUNY Oneonta after splitting Saturday’s doubleheader at Loren Campbell Memorial Field.
The Hawks took a seven-inning game-one win, 11-1 Friday and won the opening game of the doubleheader Saturday, 3-2, before falling in the rubber match, 14-10. The opening game win was backed by another solid pitching performance beginning with five solid innings from starter James McGovern. McGovern allowed just four hits and one earned run with three walks and four strikeouts with Liam Ryan coming in to pitch two innings to get the win and Matt Sarni closing out the final two frames to earn his first career save.
Oneonta took the lead at the top of the second, but SUNY New Paltz quickly tied the game in the bottom half with Dillon Ristano getting the inning started on a lead-off double. Mike Ascanio then rocketed a liner up the middle for an RBI single to plate Ristano and tie the game.
With the score at a 1-1 stalemate entering the sixth, Ryan came in to relieve McGovern and allowed a lead-off double that was later brought in on an error at short. Ryan didn’t let the mistake snowball and instead struck out the side to keep the damage just at a run. SUNY New Paltz picked him up in the bottom of the seventh, started with a lead-off single by Alex Oulette. Tommy Kreider reached on the next at-bat following a throwing error by the pitcher, which allowed Oulette to get from first to home, tying the game at 2-2. Nick Harvey did his job, cranking a long fly ball to left for a sacrifice fly to plate Kreider and give his team a 3-2 lead.
Sarni closed out the final two innings, as the freshman forced two ground outs to start the eighth. He allowed a base hit but forced a fielder’s choice on the next at-bat to end the inning. Sarni made quick work of the side in the ninth, sitting down three-straight batters on a ground out, strikeout and pop up to secure the 3-2 win for his team.
Ascanio led the way, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Ristano followed, hitting 2-for-3 with a run.
Game two was a high-scoring affair with the two teams combining for 30 hits in the game. Bobby Ramsey was handed the loss in his final appearance for the Hawks. He earned the start and threw two innings, giving up just two hits and two earned runs with two walks and a strikeout.
Justin Harvey was the catalyst offensively for SUNY New Paltz, as he finished 3-for-5, including a home run, with two runs and four RBI. Ascanio followed, hitting 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. Fabian Apicella had a hit, run scored, RBI and a walk.
The Red Dragons took a 2-0 lead off a two-run home run. The Hawks tied the game at two after scoring runs in the second and third, but Oneonta re-took the advantage with three runs in the fourth and SUNY New Paltz trailed from that point forward.
Down 12-7 to start the bottom of the eighth the Hawks stemmed a rally, started on a two-out walk by Ristano. Ascanio followed with a base hit and Justin Harvey got his team within two on one swing, rocketing a three-run home run to center to trim the score, 12-10. The Red Dragons added insurance runs in the ninth and SUNY New Paltz’s couldn’t answer at the bottom of the inning, finalizing the 14-10 score.
The Hawks finish their 2023 season 14-24 overall, while winning four of their last five games.