It seems that the trouble that NYU’s baseball team experienced at the start of the season last weekend was a case of first-series jitters. The Violets bounced back on Tuesday with a two-game sweep of John Jay College in their home opener at MCU Park in Coney Island, defeating the Judges 6-4 and 5-3.
Freshman Will Jauss made his NYU debut as starting pitcher in the first game of the day. He faced adversity in the first inning, giving up four runs, which put NYU at an early disadvantage. However, Jauss regained his composure after this and pitched four perfect innings. Sophomore Jonathan Iaione shined in the bottom of the fourth inning, drawing a walk and stealing a base to help the Violets start their first rally. Junior Adrian Spitz singled in Iaione to score the first Violets run. Freshman Ryan Mclaughlin followed up with an RBI single and NYU managed to pull within two runs. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Violets tied the score at four with a sacrifice fly from senior captain CJ Picerni and a single from sophomore Scott Hilbrandt.
The Violets bumped into the lead with another RBI single from McLaughlin and an RBI double from sophomore Jake Smith in the sixth inning. Sophomore closer Matthew Millus, who emerged as the team’s closer last season, picked up where he left off last season, pitching a scoreless seventh inning to earn his first save of the season. Sophomore captain Christian Pellegrino believes the team is already beginning to gel.
“We finally started putting everything together,” Pellegrino said. “We pitched well, hit when we had to and played efficiently in the field and we got it done.”
The second game of the slate started similarly to the first, with John Jay jumping to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Violets quickly responded. Freshman Jack Walter led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk and was eventually brought home thanks to a sacrifice fly from Smith. After John Jay tacked on another run to make it 3-1, the Violets again stormed back in the bottom of the third. Freshman Jack Walter and Smith both got on base via singles, and freshman Colman Hendershot cleared the bases with an RBI double, tying the game at 3-3. In the fourth inning, the Violets took the lead by taking advantage of John Jay’s errors, pushing ahead 4-3. The Violets tacked on one more run in the fifth and junior Jarrett Weiss closed the door on John Jay with two scoreless innings. Sophomore pitcher Matthew Wells won his first game of the season, and junior Adrian Spitz extended his hitting streak to five games. Spitz knew the start of the game was slow, but thinks the end results were worth it.
“We had a slow start but everyone did their jobs,” Spitz said. “We rallied together for a sweep.”
The Violets return to the field on Sunday, March 6, when they face the University of Rochester in the opening game of the 2016 University Athletics Association Championship in Sanford, Florida.
Email Ashley Arnold at [email protected]