Baseball finds stroke against Adelphi

Allison Case '14, Asst. Sports Editor

After a tough season so far, the Le Moyne College baseball team breaks through with an impressive series against Adelphi to gain momentum for a playoff push.

With an exciting week behind them, including a walk-off win against conference rival Pace University on Nate Reynolds’ home run, the Dolphins focused all their energy on Adelphi in hopes of salvaging their season. By winning the series 2-1, the Dolphins find themselves at 13-18 overall, with a 7-5 NE-10 conference record and a 4-4 record in the conference’s Southwest Division. They currently sit in fifth place out of seven teams in the Southwest Division.

Le Moyne gained ground on Adelphi in the division in their first game of the series, which resulted in an impressive 9-1 victory. Redshirt freshman Ryan O’Kane took to the mound for this game and got the win, pitching nine innings and only allowing one run on the day.

The Dolphins backed up strong pitching by O’Kane with an offensive onslaught. After a quiet first inning by both teams, the Dolphins started things up in the second inning. Sophomore catcher Trey West scored the first run on a throwing error, while freshman catcher Matt Buroni grounded out to plate Reynolds from third.

Holding a 2-0 lead for the next few innings, the Dolphins capitalized with runners on base in the fifth and sixth innings to help break open the game. Freshman center fielder Donato DiNorcia tripled and scored on a Buroni groundout in the fifth and sophomore shortstop Dylan Swetman scored on a sacrifice fly by Reynolds in the sixth. With a steady 4-0 lead, the Dolphins never looked back and continued to plate runs while taking advantage of Adelphi mistakes.

Adelphi brought in one run in the bottom of the ninth, but it proved to be too little and too late as O’Kane shut down the potential threat to seal the 9-1 victory.

The Dolphins picked up right where they left off in the nightcap, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Swetman added another RBI to his stats as he knocked in sophomore infielder Brett Charbonneau, who in turn scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by West.

However, Adelphi fought right back in this round. Plating one run in the bottom of the first, they added three more runs to take a 4-3 lead over the Dolphins in the second. Two of the three runs were unearned, caused by an error on Le Moyne catcher West.

The tightly-knit contest continued until Le Moyne broke open the game by scoring two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Sophomore firstbaseman Pat Wright cranked his team-high fourth home run of the year with a two run shot in the fifth to give the Dolphins the 5-4 lead. Junior third baseman Max Nagelsmith recorded an RBI in the sixth, scoring Reynolds on a single up the middle. Nagelsmith then scored on junior outfielder Jeremy Mathers’ singled to left-center.

The scoring ceased for several innings until Adelphi showed some late game heroics in the bottom of the ninth. Rallying for four runs to claim the 8-7 walk-off victory, the Panthers sealed the deal with a single by Adelphi catcher Rich Cambria, after two previous pitching changes for the ‘Phins.

The final game of the series turned out to be a sloppy game, but a rout in favor of the Dolphins. The ‘Phins scored five runs in the first inning alone en route to a 21-8 victory, which included 23 hits for Le Moyne, as well as four errors. The Panthers committed six errors on the day.

“Our offense has started to execute plays,” Team Captain Reynolds said. “We have gotten bunts down when we needed to. When we have had guys in scoring position, we have hit the ball hard and forced teams to make plays. When they haven’t made the plays, we have taken advantage of their mistakes.”

Impressive at-bats were had by all of the Dolphin players, but especially Reynolds, went 4-5 on the day with three runs and two RBIs. West added three RBIs while also posting a team-high .288 batting average. Dinorcia plated a career-high five runs on the day.

“It’s been different guys stepping up every game to come through for us,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds and the squad look to continue their hot hitting as the season draws to a close. The Dolphins will face conference opponent New Haven for a weekend series at home April 26 and 27.