By Jacob Malik
Despite being 0-4 to start the season, the baseball team won their home opener against Plattsburgh State on Saturday, March 7.
The Lions would get off to a strong start in the first inning. With two outs, senior David Cardona III on second and junior Avery Epstein on third, senior Garry Otten scored both runners with a single up the middle.
In the second inning, Plattsburgh looked to score with runners on second and third with only one out.The team managed to come out unscathed, as sophomore Matt Volpe struck out and earned a pop-out against the next two batters to preserve the 2-0 lead.
The team further added to their existing lead in the bottom of the 2nd to 3-0, with sophomore Grant Sible scoring from third on a single to left center from sophomore Nick Francisco. Volpe continued to pitch well, as he made quick work of Plattsburgh in the top of the 3rd with a 1-2-3 inning. Despite having bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the 3rd, the Lions were unable to further add to their lead.
Plattsburgh put a run up on the board on the fourth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Santino Ycaza hit by a pitch that forced in a run to make the score 3-1 Lions. However, this was all the action in the 4th, as the Lions went down in order with three consecutive groundouts.
Volpe continued his strong outing in the fifth, as he pitched another 1-2-3 inning, which turned out to be crucial. The Lions offense broke the game wide open, as they scored three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Cardona III lined a double into left center and picked up RBIs, as both Epstein and senior Thomas Persichetti scored. Cardona III advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a passed ball to make it 6-1.
The sixth and top of the seventh were quiet, as Volpe continued to find success. His final line ended up as follows: seven innings pitched, four hits, one run, zero earned and four strikeouts.
In the seventh, the Lions loaded the bases and managed to score two more runs. Sophomore Joe Oczkowski was hit by a pitch, which forced in the first run. In the next at bat, Sible hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that allowed senior Jacob Simon to tag up and score the eighth and final run for the Lions.
To start the eighth inning, Lions pitcher Junior David Stec took over for Volpe. Stec allowed one run in the eighth on a fielder’s choice and produced a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth to seal the 8-2 victory for the Lions.
The Lions will look to build on this success as they take on Gwynedd Mercy on Monday, March 9 at home and Alvernia University on the road on Tuesday, March 10.