By Mikai Bruce
The SUNY Plattsburgh baseball team is looking to make some noise this season and they have the talent to do so. With a clean slate, the Cardinals will be looking to bring a baseball title to the school.
The season is already underway with some non-conference games that are of little consequence for the playoff picture. The Cardinals currently stand at 1-1 after splitting a double header with Maritime College Feb. 26. Last season ended for the Cardinals with a quick trip to the SUNYAC playoffs, and this season the expectations have not wavered.
“Expectations: make a return trip to the SUNYAC playoffs. Hopefully have a long run in the SUNYAC playoffs,” Head Coach Sam Quinn-Loeb said.
These expectations do not come without the players to back it up.
“I’m excited to see Kyle Cremin, Alex Kornblau, Conner Gonzalski, Andrew Veit, Chris Santic and Sean Malamud play this year,” Quinn-Loeb said.
Cremin is a sophomore third baseman, Kornblau is a junior infielder, Gonzalski is a senior outfielder, Veit is a senior shortstop and right handed pitcher, Santic is a junior left-handed pitcher and Malamud is a graduate student right-handed pitcher. The coach is excited about a lot of guys in their bullpen and believes in their ability to control the game from the pitching position. He also has a belief in the experience that this team has, which is important to playoff success.
This team has a mixture of young talent and older, more experienced players that are needed to gut out tough wins. It is this combination that really enables teams to succeed, along with a coach like Quinn-Loeb. Last season, he led the team to its first playoff berth in a decade.
“I expect us to be a legit contender to win the SUNYAC this year, that starts with making a playoff run again. Guys like Nick Cergol, Christian Ott and Sean Malamud will be key players for us as the season goes on,” pitcher Tyler Kohn said.
He highlighted Malamud like his coach did, so this leads to expectations for a standout season from Malamud. Both the players and the coaches share the same beliefs, so this will surely be wonderful for the team dynamic. A cohesive unit is important when you have championship aspirations.
“I expect us to do some damage and definitely build off of last year’s success,” Malamud said. “It’s tough to really say who will have the biggest impact because there’s a lot of dogs on this squad. Overall, it’ll take a collective team effort all season and I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be one of the top teams in our conference.”
Malamud has such a high belief in the talent on this roster that he simply couldn’t choose specific players to highlight. It is clear that there are high hopes for this season and an extra level of comfortability with the roster. The Cardinals anticipate a second-straight playoff trip.