Baseball pushing through season
Matt Gad—Sports Writer
Going against its bitter Elm City rival in New Haven, the Southern baseball team came onto Frank Vieira Field, and junior left-handed starting pitcher Nate Carney was able to match the Chargers’ Izaiya Mestre throughout the course of the afternoon.
While Carney had the Chargers in check over eight innings, the Owls only came away with one run, off an RBI by senior infielder Jim Palmer, scoring junior infielder John Spoto, in the top of the third inning.
“Nate’s been pitching great lately,” coach Tim Shea said. “He pitched a 1-0 game [and] he got beat against Bridgeport; he pitched great in an 11-inning game with Franklin Pierce…his ERA [earned run average] in his last 27 innings is as close to one as you can possibly get.”
Carney came in with a 1-4 record on the mound and seemed to have a good command of his pitches, allowing two earned runs while walking one and striking out five.
The only blunder for the Owls came in the eighth inning, when a ball took an irregular hop off Palmer’s glove and skipped into the outfield, giving the University of New Haven its go-ahead 2-1 lead.
However, because the Chargers’ defense was so inconsistent, there were multiple opportunities for Tim Shea’s squad to put the game away despite only picking up a few hits throughout the game.
“We had opportunities with the bases loaded, one out in the sixth and bases loaded, one out in the eighth and couldn’t get it done,” Shea said. “They got two runs and we got one. It’s disappointing because Nate pitched extremely well.”
New Haven was called for five errors, including two catcher’s interference calls, while the Owls were called for three miscues.
“We feel good as a team and we know we’re better than how we’re playing. We were rolling on offense and now we’re rolling on pitching,” Carney said. “But when it comes together these teams need to watch out for us because we’re going to roll.”
The Chargers are now 10-12 overall – 4-4 in NE10 matchups, following a Wednesday loss to Bridgeport, and are sitting in fourth seed in the Southwest Division.
The Owls, on the other hand, are 12-18 overall – 3-8 in conference play, ranking last in the Southwest Division and near the bottom in the NE10 standings.
Carney said while the team is not where they would exactly like to be, he said he is still confident that they can turn the season around before the end of the regular season.
“The games are all close,” Carney said. “Our guys were making some great plays out there…we’re gonna figure it out.”
Twice, redshirt senior left fielder Nick Lamberti ranged into foul ground to make plays on fly balls in spectacular fashion and Palmer also had a highlight-reel stop in the middle of the infield.
But the offense was not consistent enough, with junior redshirt catcher Mike DeMartino and Lamberti picking up the latter two hits.
“We have to do a better job in key situations, both on offense and on defense, if we wanna win these tight games,” Shea said. “We need to put complete games together so we can win some of these…we’ve been in every game but at the end of the day we gotta figure out how to win these close ones.”
The Owls are 1-3 in Southwest Divisional play, good for a sixth-place tie with Le Moyne College, while Saint Rose College is just ahead in fifth at 2-2 and the University of New Haven is one above that at 1-1.
“We’re not in bad shape,” Carney said. “It takes three or four games to get on a roll but we’re losing at the very end [right now].”