The Plattsburgh State baseball team will compete a doubleheader at home against No. 21/24 SUNY Oswego tomorrow at noon before completing the series against the Lakers Sunday at noon.
PSUC head coach Kris Doorey noted the toll conference games, like the upcoming series with Oswego (18-8, 9-3) take on his team.
“Every conference game is mentally and physically fatiguing for these guys,” Doorey said. “It’s a battle all weekend.”
Doorey also acknowledged the advantages the opposing teams have over the Cardinals (7-18, 1-11) of having a majority of upper-class level players.
“We’re right on the fringe,” Doorey said. “We’re just competing against teams that are upper-class heavy whereas we start six sophomores and freshman.”
The team is in their last rebuilding year, Doorey said, but still need to find a way to turn the odds in their favor.
PSUC left its return to the conference schedule with three losses against SUNY New Paltz (13-12, 6-5).
“The New Paltz series was tough,” Doorey said, who felt the Cards just didn’t get enough clutch hitting.
“I think we were 0-for-11 or 1-for-11 with runners in the scoring position,” Doorey said. “So, our situation on hitting continues to struggle.”
Last Friday’s first half of the game saw a great pitching performance from PSUC junior Matt Fox who only allowed one run in the first five innings. Fox’s performance took a turn, however, allowing New Paltz seven runs and ending the game at the top of the ninth inning with an 8-5 victory for the Hawks.
PSUC junior Jon Craft acknowledged that the skill of New Paltz’s hitters outmatched Fox’s pitching.
“They were very strong and very aggressive,” Craft said. “I honestly think [Fox] was just getting a little tired at the end.”
Doorey recognized PSUC junior Patrick Bryant’s good pitching performance in last Saturday’s game even though the team lost. Doorey said it was the “little things” that led to the defeat.
“Even in the last inning, we have two runner on base, and there’s a ball in the dirt, and we don’t advance,” Doorey said. “It just changed the complexion of the game. If we advance, the ground ball that Stephen [Bryant] hit to [shortstop] ends up being a single to left, and we probably score the tying runs.”
Initially, last Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games against Norwich University and Union College (18-5), respectively, were cancelled and not postponed due to rain and snow. Later, the contest with Union was rescheduled for last Wednesday on a neutral field in Amsterdam, New York.
PSUC lost the rescheduled game against Union 13-8.
Doorey was disappointed the Cards lost the chance to play against Norwich at home for his team that wants to play more games. The coach believes that, while PSUC already has a great facility, discussions about upgrading the field to artificial turf need to happen.
“Weather in the northeast is tough,” Doorey said. “If we had an artificial turf field, we would’ve played a home game yesterday and a home game today.”
Craft is excited for tomorrow’s games against Oswego, who he said will have new players in their lineup.
“They’re one of our best competitors in our conference, Craft said. “It’s going to be tough games, but we just have to bounce back from our last losses.”
Doorey believes the Cards have shown their ability to play well and get wins, citing individual efforts by Craft and Patrick Bryant, but they still need to put the finishing touches on their execution.
“We’re doing some good things,” Doorey said. “We’re just not able to put it all together right now.”
Email Lexus Gomez at sports@cardinal