NYU baseball drops two of three games against Emory

The Violets went 1-2 on the road against Emory University as they kicked off UAA play.


The NYU baseball team triumphs in Atlanta as it begins conference play. (Courtesy of NYU Athletics)

Pablo Ocariz, Staff Writer

NYU men’s baseball started off in-conference play against Emory University in Atlanta this weekend, scoring a 4-3 win in the opener on Friday before losing both games of the Saturday double header. 

Infielder Richard Beggy continued his great start to the season, batting 5 for 11 with a home run and three RBI across the three games. 

The first game of the series offered a lot of promise for the Violets. The contest was back and forth, with the Violets going down 0-1 in the second inning and 2-3 in the fourth. Their biggest strength proved to be their ability to respond to adversity almost immediately.

The Violets came back both times they went down, with a sac fly from junior outfielder Alex Van Landigham, an RBI groundout from senior second baseman Russell Burton, as well as a two-run single from sophomore catcher Kosta Mocklis.

Mocklis’ hit in the fifth inning proved to be the pivotal play of the game, bringing NYU back from a 2-3 deficit to a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish.

This solid pitching night was short-lived for the Violets, however, as NYU took a step back during the following two games. This weekend was the same story as it has been all season for the Violets: a lot of runs scored, but a lot of runs allowed.

For the season, NYU ranks first in the UAA in runs scored per game, with 8.6, but also has the worst ERA of any team in the conference, coming in at 6.24. 

The team has been exceptional on offense. In addition to Beggy, five other players have an OPS of at least 1.000 — Will Cialone, Cam Dunn, Connor Roggero, Nate Pallotta and Gabe LaCagnina — and Pallota has hit four homers in just 15 games.

The pitching has not hovered at the same level as the hitting, though. A team scoring over eight runs a game should be dominating the competition, but the Violets are just over .500 at 8-7. Why?

The team has allowed an average of 10.64 runs per game. The Violets have been able to score over and over again, but they just have not been able to prevent runs — and this pattern only continued against Emory.

Over the course of just 16 innings during the Saturday doubleheader, the Violets allowed 25 runners to score. The first game was a 6-11 loss, and the second was 4-15. That’s over a run an inning, 18 of which were earned runs, contributing to an ERA of 10.80.

NYU’s ace, left-handed pitcher John Gassler, started the first game of the doubleheader, and did a decent job. He struck out seven, and held the Eagles to just two runs in 4.1 innings of work.

But then the bullpen came in — nine runs allowed in just 3.2 innings, and five walks to only three strikeouts. It was a complete implosion, and it spelled the end of the game.

The second game of the day was not much better. This one couldn’t be blamed as easily on the bullpen, as 10 of the 15 runs came in from starter Tyler Judge. The core problem remained the same, though — too many guys are touching home plate.

The offense still did their job relatively well. They managed to score 10 runs over the span of the two games, with Beggy even hitting his first home run of the season.

But it does not matter how many runs you score, or how many home runs you hit — it’s hard to win games when you allow runs in the double digits.

The good news for the Violets is that the season is still young. This was just the first series in the UAA, and everything can change in the coming weeks.

As the season ramps up, they can rest assured that their hitting is exactly where it needs to be. As long as their pitching improves, they have a chance to go far this season.

They continue their season this Friday through Sunday, with a home series against Brandeis University.

Contact Pablo Ocariz at [email protected].