Baseball Finds Form Late in Season
May 2, 2016
As the baseball season starts to come to a close, the NYU baseball team has begun to play like the team they predicted themselves to be at the beginning of the year — the pitching has been nearly flawless, the fielding errorless and the hitting off the charts. This resurgence was put on display once again this weekend, as the Violets swept their rain-shortened weekend three-game slate against the City College of New York and Lehman College.
On the mound for the Violets on Friday against CCNY was freshman right-hander Chad Johnstone, who pitched six innings of shutout baseball, allowing just one hit. The Violets grabbed an early lead in the first inning when sophomore infielder Jonathan Iaione brought in a run with an RBI triple after an infield error scored freshman outfielder Jack Walter. CCNY’s troubles continued, as a wild pitch struck sophomore Michael Vokulich, scoring Iaione for the third run of the inning. Later in the game, the Violets poured it on in the seventh inning with an onslaught of hitting power. Iaione, junior outfielder Adrian Spitz and sophomore second baseman Jeremy Wayne all knocked in runners during the inning, good enough for a decisive 9-0 win.
The Violets stayed hot against Lehman (8-25) in a home doubleheader the next day. Not letting fatigue affect their play, the Violets started strong in the first inning, as freshman first baseman Colman Hendershot’s RBI groundout brought home Spitz for the first run of the game. Freshman infielder Jack Elias followed with an RBI single that brought in Iaione for the 2-0 lead. This lead was secured by sophomore pitcher Chase Denison, who threw a full game and only allowed two runs off of five hits. The Violets won 6-2, finishing with 10 hits and zero errors.
The second game of the day did not start out in much the same way as the previous two. Starting on the mound for the Violets was Vokulich, who was pulled after only three innings following a lackluster performance that included giving up three runs off of five hits. His replacement was freshman Jack Kurtenbach, who gave up one run and pitched for only one inning before a plethora of other relievers — including sophomore Matthew Wells and freshman Eli Edwards — came into the game to hold the Lightning scoreless for the rest of the afternoon.
The Violets were trailing 3-1 after three innings. It was in the fourth inning, however, that the Violets came alive and went on a batting tear. Hendershot, sophomore catcher Scott Hilbrandt, sophomore third baseman Christian Bloom and Spitz all singled. Combined with Lehman walking one batter and hitting another, allowed for the Violets to pick up five key runs. The Violets would then hold the lead for a 10-4 win. Edwards cited the team’s consistent pitching as a key to victory.
“Our pitching was excellent the whole day and got timely hitting in some key innings,” Edwards said. “When that happens you usually win.”
Sunday’s games against the College of Mount Saint Vincent were cancelled due to rain. The Violets next take to the field across the Hudson River against New Jersey City University on Tuesday.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2 print edition. Email Kyle Ryan at [email protected]