Baseball: Fresh Grass, Slow Start

Christian Bloom was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base.

The weekend finally brought some warm weather, and with spring around the corner, it can only mean one thing — NYU baseball is back. The team started the second season of its modern era with a three-game series against Washington and Lee University, dropping all three in Virginia.

The Violets lost Saturday’s first game 6-1. Sophomore shortstop Jake Smith made his return to the diamond after having to miss out on most of his first season due to an ACL injury. Smith knocked in the team’s first run of the season, what the team is hoping will be the first of many this season. With two outs and sophomore utility player Christian Bloom on second base, Smith hit a double into centerfield, scoring Bloom and giving the Violets a 1-0 lead. Bloom finished the day 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Sophomore Cameron Serapilio-Frank started on the mound for the Violets and pitched 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball until Washington and Lee scored in the bottom of the seventh inning. Freshman pitcher Julian Henry replaced him after that, but from that point on Washington and Lee continued scoring, eventually running away with the game. In defeat, Violets freshman outfielder Jack Walter made a strong debut on the team, finishing 2-for-5 with a double. Junior outfielder Adrian Spitz, who finished 2-for-4, is looking forward to seeing how the various newcomers fare this year.

“We had a lot of freshman that are slowly getting adjusted to college baseball,” Spitz said. “We performed well as a whole and positive things are coming.”

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In the second game of the day, sophomore Michael Vokulich pitched 5 1/3 innings without giving up a run. The Violets once again had the lead early on in the game thanks to Spitz, who plated freshman Colman Hendershot with an RBI double right down the right field line in the top of the fourth inning. However, Washington and Lee eventually got to Spitz, starting their comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning when they managed an RBI single. This was then followed by a two-run double in the sixth inning, putting them ahead for good 3-1. Walter had another solid showing for a generally quiet Violets offense, going 1-4 with a stolen base.

The Violets played their third game with Washington and Lee on Sunday to wrap up the weekend. There were no runs from the Violets until Smith scored in the top of the sixth inning as well as Bloom. However, Washington and Lee continued to be an offensive juggernaut, scoring 11 runs in the game en route to a season-opening sweep of the Violets. Freshman Eli Edwards, who made a brief appearance on Sunday in relief, said he sees a strong season ahead even after a difficult start.

“We got swept this weekend which was very disappointing,” Edwards said. “We showed glimpses of our talent but we mentally need to get tougher in the future.”

The Violets open their home schedule on Tuesday at MCU Park in Coney Island with a two-game series against John Jay College.

A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 29 print edition. Email Ashley Arnold at [email protected]

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