The Plattsburgh State baseball team travels to Farmingdale this weekend for a three game series with Vassar College.
After the Cardinals’ first few attempts of having a home opener be postponed due to snow on the ground, the Cards will play their first bit of baseball since coming home from Florida this weekend on the road.
“In the moment, everyone gets discouraged and disappointed,” head coach Kris Doorey said about the cancellations. “Now we’re looking forward to playing games this weekend. As disappointing as it is to have games cancelled, there is always the next game.”
In last year’s meeting between these two teams, PSUC split the doubleheader on neutral ground in Auburndale, Florida. However, this is a new year, and practically a whole new team compared to last year’s.
“It’s going to be like starting over again, like we did two weeks ago,” Doorey said. “It’s our last chance to prepare before we play another conference series, so we’ll be looking for quality at-bats, some good pitching and good defense. We need these three games to get our feet rewetted out on the baseball field to give us momentum moving forward.”
Despite not playing on their home field yet, the Cards have managed to practice outside on the turf, which will help them this weekend.
“Being able to do that definitely helps us since we’re playing on turf this weekend,” Doorey said. “And, being outside is better than being inside because it’s more realistic.”
Although PSUC hasn’t played a game since its loss against Brockport March 18, the Cards are prepared to relaunch their season on the road.
“I don’t really mind it too much, honestly, because we also get to miss class a little,” sophomore pitcher/first baseman Patrick Bryant said jokingly. “But it definitely stinks because we haven’t been on our field since the fall, so we have to take what Mother Nature gives us I guess.”
PSUC technically hasn’t played a game on the road yet so far, as all of their games played in Florida were on neutral ground. The Cards will be on neutral ground again this weekend against the Brewers.
With a record of 3-7, PSUC is already ahead of last year’s pace, which they ended the season 6-30.
“We’ve definitely started better than last year, but we want to be better than what we are right now,” Bryant said. “It may take a little bit to mold together and play baseball the way we want to play, but I’m not too worried about it. I think we’ll be all right.”
Bryant is one of a couple players on the team that has the ability to pitch as well as play the field and swing the bat. Along with Bryant, freshman second baseman Kentaro Mori is capable of playing sound defense, hitting the ball, as well as coming in as a closer to try to save the game for the Cards. These players are a small sample size of the amount of athleticism featured on this year’s team.
Both Bryant and Mori are new to PSUC, but already have been slated into the starting lineup. As a middle infielder, Mori works closely with Bryant’s brother, Stephen, to form a force up the middle on defense.
“To be honest, I have never played second base before I came here (from Japan), and the language barrier made it tough to communicate with Steve (Bryant) at first, but lately we’ve gotten closer and have been pretty good.” Mori said, who played first base most of his career. “I was really honored to be able to start, so I’m going to try hard to contribute to the team.”
Switching from first base to second base may not seem that challenging of a transition due to them being on the right side of the field, however, the dynamics between first base and second base are completely different.
“The direction is the same, but how to move is totally different,” Mori said.
The Cards kick off their weekend series against Vassar 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 1, then will play a doubleheader to round out the weekend at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re totally ready for the season,” Mori said. “We are just focusing on trying hard our next game and to win.”
Email Ezra Kachaturian at firstname.lastname@example.org