Florida proves to be challenge for baseball, softball

Alex Bazeley, Deputy News Editor

The baseball and softball teams officially kicked off UAA league play this week, ushering in a new chapter of sports at NYU. The baseball team, in their first season in over 40 years, is 3-5 overall to start the season, while the softball, in their first year ever, has struggled en route to an 0-7 start.

The baseball team took on Washington University in St. Louis on Wednesday night, but after scoring 14 runs in their previous game it went down quietly, taking a 10-0 loss in a seven-inning game shortened by the mercy rule.

Sophomore pitcher Jarrett Weiss took the loss, surrendering 8 runs over 4 1/3 innings. The team struggled at the plate, compiling just four hits and striking out six times.

Thursday night’s contest against Case Western Reserve University was a different story, as the two teams battled for the lead for most of the night. NYU came up short, however, dropping the game 13-12. Despite scoring four runs in the seventh, the Violets were unable to mount a comeback. Freshman pitcher Ralph Navarro was saddled with the loss.

NYU saw offensive contributions from up and down the lineup, knocking a total of 13 hits. Sophomore catcher C.J. Picerni went 2-4 with 3 RBI, including hitting NYU’s first home run since 1973, while freshman shortstop Jonathan Iaione tallied three hits with a pair of RBIs.

Picerni was still positive after the pair of losses. He said winning is just a matter of staying focused, and that as long as they stay in it until the end, the wins will come.

“We need to have the mindset that we can beat anyone we play,” Picerni said. “We have a lot of young talent that’s only going to get better as we progress through our season and seasons to come. We need to stay aggressive for all nine innings and we will be alright.”

Freshman center fielder Michael Vokulich, who had two hits and drove in three on Thursday, said being a part of such a new program means sticking to the fundamentals.

“We’re young but we’re still playing baseball,” Vokulich said. “The mindset is the same — everyone is trying to win. The wins are good because as a team we’re gaining confidence.”

Meanwhile, the softball team took a 7-2 loss against Wash U on Wednesday, and a 12-4 loss in six innings to Case Western Reserve on Thursday. The results mark a seven-game losing streak to begin varsity softball’s inaugural season.

After an early 2-0 lead against Wash U, the Violet bats fell silent, recording just three hits after the first inning. Sophomore pitcher Samantha Block, who gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched, took the loss.

On Thursday afternoon freshman second baseman Sage Scheiwiller provided all the offense for the Violets, crushing a grand slam in the third inning, the first in the history of the program. Sophomore pitcher Jacqueline Tremblay pitched a complete game, surrendering 12 runs — seven earned — on nine hits through 5 2/3 innings. Freshman outfielders Colby Tarsitano and Natalie Evans each also had a hit in the loss.

“Even though the outcomes haven’t been as great as we had hoped, there is a great prospect for the future.” Scheiwiller said. “We have fought in the games we have played, and have come together as a team. There has been a great deal of successes in these games with multiple home runs, solid pitching, diving catches and clutch hits, and we can find plays to rally a future behind.”

Junior shortstop Kahala Bonsignore, a captain of the team, said the statistics don’t display the team’s successes, and added that everyone on the field deserves to be there.

“Even with our recent losses, we have been coming out onto the field and keeping up with some of these teams for four or five innings,” Bonsignore said. “I think that says a lot about our potential, and right now, this is what keeps us going.”

The varsity baseball team takes on Emory University at 2 p.m. on Friday at the UAA Championship in Sanford, Florida. Softball faces Emory at the UAA Championship at 10 a.m. on Friday in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Email Alex Bazeley at [email protected].