The New Paltz Oracle, Volume 83, Issue 15

Page 24

SPORTS

12 oracle.newpaltz.edu

The  New  Paltz  Oracle

Y A L P Â E L IP

TR

Hawks  Hope  All-­Around  Depth  Will  Lead  Team  To  First  Championship

Hawks’  starting  shortstop  Paul  Merola  hit  .257  last  year  and  will  bat  second  this  season.  Merola  had  29  hits  in  113  at-­bats  last  season  while  walking  a  team-­leading  17  times.    PHOTO  COURTESY  OF  NEWPALTZ  SPORTS  INFORMATION

By  Andrew  Wyrich

NG  I T R STA UP LINE 1.  MATT  CARR                         LF      *  Played  For  NYIT  2.  PAUL  MEROLA                  SS    AVG:  .257     HR:  0     RBI:  4 3.  MATT  PRECIA                    3B  AVG:  .360    HR:  0     RBI:  10  4.  JAKE  CAMERON               1B  AVG:  .315    HR:  4     RBI:  24  5.  MATT  KALDON                   C  AVG:  .314    HR:  1      RBI:  15  6.  TOM  PINNOLA                  RF  AVG:  .296    HR:  0     RBI:  13  7.  JIMMY  BRIGGS                DH  AVG:  .248    HR:  4     RBI:  21  8.  CHRIS  PAULICELLI        2B  AVG:  .284   HR:  0     RBI:  9  9.  ANTHONY  RAPETTO      CF  AVG:  .250   HR:  0     RBI:  1 Â

Editor-­In-­Chief  |  Andrew.wyrich63@hawkmail.newpaltz.edu

There  might  have  been  snow  covering  Loren  Campbell  Field  last  week,  but  that  hasn’t  stopped  SUNY  New  Paltz’s  Baseball  team  from  preparing  for  their  ultimate  goal  this  season  â€”  to  win  a  SUNYAC  champion-­ ship.  Armed  with  a  pitching  staff  and  lineup  that  is  largely  intact  from  last  season,  the  Hawks  are  hoping  their  experience  and  fun-­ damentally  sound  game  will  deliver  the  pro-­ JUDP WKHLU Âż UVW HYHU FKDPSLRQVKLS WLWOH DQG see  an  improvement  from  their  20-­19  record  last  season.  â€œWe  have  our  goals  we  are  looking  to  achieve,  any  team  that  sets  out  â€”  their  number  one  goal  is  to  win  a  championship,â€?  +HDG &RDFK 0DWW *ULIÂż WKV VDLG Âł7KDW LV certainly  the  case  for  us  and  anything  less  than  that  we  won’t  consider  a  success.â€?  *ULIÂż WKV VDLG WKH WHDP LV ZRUNLQJ RQ winning  â€œlittle  battlesâ€?  that  occur  during  each  game  by  focusing  on  the  fundamentals  he  has  stressed  in  practices.  The  team  will  be  tasked  with  complet-­ ing  different  objectives  such  as  throwing  ¿ UVW SLWFK VWULNHV DQG UHFRUGLQJ OHDGRII RXWV ZKLFK *ULIÂż WKV VDLG ZRXOG OHDG WR EHWWHU chances  to  win.  In  addition  to  the  team’s  focus  on  fun-­

GDPHQWDOV *ULIÂż WKV VDLG WKH WHDPÂśV GHSWK would  provide  the  Hawks  with  the  needed  tools  to  have  a  strong  season.  â€œI  can  honestly  say  one  through  nine,  we  have  players  we  can  expect  to  play  well.  And  a  lot  of  our  guys  are  interchangeable,  we  can  switch  our  No.  4  guy  and  our  No.  7  guy  on  any  given  day  depending  on  who  LV KRW DQG ZKR LV FROG ´ *ULIÂż WKV VDLG Âł,WÂśV not  necessarily  [that]  we  are  looking  for  one  VSHFLÂż F SHUVRQ ZH DUH ORRNLQJ IURP FRQVLV tency  from  top  to  bottom.â€?  Chris  Paulicelli,  the  team’s  starting  sec-­ RQG EDVHPHQ ZKR Âż QLVKHG ODVW VHDVRQ ZLWK D .284  batting  average  and  had  21  hits  over  the  25  games  he  played,  said  in  addition  to  the  team’s  depth,  the  work  ethic  of  this  semes-­ ter’s  group  of  players  is  worth  noting.  â€œEveryone  is  buying  into  and  wants  to  attain  the  goal  to  win  a  championship,â€?  Pau-­ licelli  said.  â€œEveryone  is  trying  to  get  better  everyday  and  get  in  the  best  shape  they  can.  Our  work  ethic  will  put  us  over  the  edge.â€?  %RWK *ULIÂż WKV DQG 3DXOLFHOOL VDLG WKH team’s  roster,  which  only  lost  two  seniors  to  graduation  last  year,  will  be  a  strength  mov-­ ing  forward  based  on  a  better  team  chemis-­ try  and  experience  gained  from  the  Hawks  trip  to  the  SUNYAC  championship  tourna-­ ment  last  year.  Returning  to  the  middle  of  the  lineup  WKLV VHDVRQ ZLOO EH IRXUWK \HDU Âż UVW EDVHPHQ

Thursday,  March  8,  2012

Jake  Cameron,  who  slugged  four  home  runs  last  season  and  led  the  team  with  24  RBIs,  and  third  basemen  Matt  Prescia  who  led  the  team  with  a  .360  batting  average.  Prescia  said  he  believes  this  team  has  improved  every  facet  of  their  game  since  last  year,  but  the  team’s  pitching  and  defense  will  be  driving  forces  of  the  team.  â€œOur  ultimate  goal  is  to  not  just  make  the  playoffs,  but  to  win  a  championship  and  go  even  further,â€?  Prescia  said.  â€œOur  pitching  and  defense  is  strong.  We  have  a  good  team,  we  can  do  it.  It’s  going  to  be  a  good  season.â€?  This  year’s  staff  will  once  again  be  anchored  by  third-­year  ace  Chris  Chismar,  who’s  2011  campaign  boasted  a  6-­4  record  with  a  2.64  ERA  in  addition  to  his  team  lead-­ ing  78  strikeouts.  Chismar  was  awarded  the  2011  SUNYAC  Don  Axtell  Pitcher  of  the  Year.  *ULIÂż WKV EHOLHYHV WKH WHDPÂśV SLWFKLQJ offense  and  defense  have  all  improved  since  last  year,  and  sees  no  reason  the  team  can’t  compete  for  a  SUNYAC  championship  â€”  or  more.  â€œOnce  we  click  in  all  aspects  of  the  game  at  once,  I  don’t  think  it’s  necessarily  going  to  matter  who  we  are  playing  in  the  game.  If  we  play  our  own  system  and  ex-­ ecute  it  well,  the  other  team  doesn’t  matter.  The  only  team  that  can  beat  us  at  the  point  is  UHDOO\ RXUVHOYHV ´ *ULIÂż WKV VDLG


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