SALISBURY, Md. -- First-year head coach Matt Righter earned a victory in the first game of his career at New Paltz State, as the Hawks pounded out 13 hits in a 9-5 season-opening win against No. 11 Salisbury on Saturday afternoon.
With the score tied at 5-5, New Paltz gained separation in a three-run seventh inning. Senior second baseman Steven Morse led off the inning with a single to center field and then stole second during the next at-bat. Sophomore catcher Tyler Bell drew a walk before senior left fielder Andrew Grann laid down a bunt that was ultimately mishandled by the Sea Gull first baseman, loading the bases for the Hawks. Senior designated hitter David Lostaglio pushed across the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded hit by pitch, which prompted a Salisbury pitching change. Junior first baseman Mike Sparacino plated Bell with a one-out sacrifice fly to right field before the inning's scoring was completed following a throwing error by the pitcher.
Salisbury was unable to mount a comeback, as Lostaglio drove in the game's final run in the eighth with a two-out single to right.
"It means a lot to me personally and to our program to get that first win," Righter said. "I will say that Salisbury is always a very talented and well-coached team. To get a win like that is great, but we have room to improve and the series isn't done yet. Our goal is to win every series, and we have two games tomorrow."
New Paltz rises to 1-0 overall with the win, while Salisbury drops to 4-2 overall with the loss.
Salisbury scored first, as a throwing error in the first inning ultimately allowed a run to cross on a junior third baseman Bobby Sanzone RBI single to left field. New Paltz knotted the tally at 1-1 in the second after junior right fielder/center fielder Richard Guido drove in a run off a single to center field, and a Salisbury throwing error pemitted the Hawks to take the lead in the top half of the third.
Junior shortstop Stanley DeLaCruz had one of the game's biggest at-bats in the fourth inning with two outs, as he ripped a double to right center with the bases loaded, scoring both sophomore third baseman Andrew DiNardo and Lostaglio. The Sea Gulls pulled within one in the home half of the fourth, as a run crossed on a passed ball before freshman shortstop Pete Grasso tied the game with an RBI groundout.
Lostaglio put the Hawks on top, 5-3, in the fifth by scoring on a wild pitch, while junior left fielder Jordan Gowe pushed across two runs to tie the score on a double in the bottom of the sixth.
Salisbury was hurt by five errors, as defensive miscues led to three unearned runs for the Sea Gulls.
Junior pitcher Tyler Mitts earned the win on the mound, throwing just one-third of an inning while allowing one hit. Senior pitcher Mike Pastorino picked up the save, tossing three full innings to close out the game. Pastorino yielded just one hit and two hit by pitches while striking out three. Junior pitcher Brian Solomon drew his first career start and threw three innings, scattering four hits and permitting two unearned runs while striking out three.
For Salisbury, junior pitcher Ryan Belanger was charged with the loss, as he gave up three runs (one earned) off one hit, two walks and a hit by pitch in one inning of relief duty. Junior pitcher Dan Fein started the game and did not earn a decision, lasting four innings and giving up four runs (three earned) off nine hits while striking out three.
Offensively, Lostaglio led the Hawks with a 3-for-3 afternoon that included three runs scored, two RBI, a double and a walk. Bell batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk, while DiNardo (2-for-4, one run scored, one double) and Morse (2-for-6, two runs scored) also had multi-hit games.
Salisbury had eight different players notch a hit, while Gowe drove in two runs.