Plattsburgh State’s baseball team will take a break from playing conference games this weekend when they face Pine Manor College, a small private college located near Boston, in a doubleheader Saturday.
The Cardinals have played nothing but conference games since their spring break tournament in Florida and are currently on a six game losing streak after dropping three games each to both SUNY Cortland (17-6, 8-1) and SUNY Brockport (10-9, 5-3). PSUC’s current record is 6-13 overall and 1-8 in the SUNYAC conference.
Head coach Kris Doorey shared his thoughts about the importance of non-divisional games during the grind of the season.
“It’s extremely important because it gives us an opportunity to see some of these guys,” Doorey said. “There are some kids who haven’t had a real opportunity to play in the last couple of weeks because we’ve only played those six conference games.”
The Cards will also be using Saturday’s doubleheader against Pine Minor (3-8) as a confidence booster amidst their six-game losing streak. Junior right-handed pitcher Matt Fox believes this weekend’s games against Pine Manor can be used positively by the team.
“We’re coming off a couple tough losses from conference games against Brockport, so it’s important to get these wins just to get our confidence back and have the young guys step up,” Fox said.
Doorey has empathy for Pine Manor, who just introduced a Division III baseball program this year, but doesn’t want them to be underestimated.
Doorey said: “I’ve been a first-year D-III program where everyone just thinks that you’re just going to show up and play and we’ll beat them. We shouldn’t underestimate anybody. I know we’re a talented baseball team, but we haven’t proven what we can do on the baseball field.”
PSUC lost last Friday’s game to Brockport 5-3. The Cards were down by two runs heading into the ninth inning when Stephen Bryant grounded out with two outs and runners on first and third base. Junior first basemen Patrick Bryant and sophomore outfielder Alex Follmer both went 2-4 at the plate and both had one stolen base and RBI.
PSUC also lost last Saturday’s doubleheader to Brockport 4-0 and 7-2 respectively. Junior Patrick Bryant pitched 5.2 innings in the first game, giving up four runs and five hits, while also walking two and striking out two. In the second game, the Cards gained a one-run lead in the first inning after Stephen Bryant scored off a wild pitch, but Brockport took control for the rest of the game after taking a three-run lead in the seventh inning.
PSUC also lost against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7-6 in Troy, New York Wednesday night. The Cards maintained a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, but RPI scored six runs that inning to take the lead. Junior P.J. Weeks pitched five innings, where he gave up four hits, one run and three walks, while also striking out two batters.
“Defensively, we have to be better,” Doorey said. “We have to teach our guys to be a little bit stronger mentally, but they have to make plays.”
Doorey said that his team hadn’t practiced on a baseball field since Monday because of uncooperative weather.
Despite all the struggles the Cards have experienced, junior third baseman Jon Craft believes that the PSUC can still prove themselves.
“We can prove ourselves if we show that we can compete in non-conference games and then take that momentum into our conference games,” Craft said.
Email Nate Mundt at firstname.lastname@example.org