By Jenna Mauriello
SUNY Purchase Baseball won 7-5 in extra innings, against the College of New Rochelle, Wednesday at Flowers Park. The game began at 7 p.m. and did not finish until 11 p.m. in the bottom of the 11th inning.
The first hit of the game was a double by junior outfielder Nick La Sala. La Sala was confident in himself and his team to play their all in this game. He said, “After I got to second on my double and caught my breath, I felt like I would have a good game and my team as a whole would too, because this pitcher wasn’t going to be anything my team and I couldn’t handle.”
New Rochelle scored their first run in the bottom of the third inning. During the fourth inning New Rochelle was still up by one, when a line drive was hit to right field by outfielder Edgardo Figueroa. La Sala caught the hard hit giving New Rochelle their first out. La Sala said, “That line drive sort of felt like an adventure when it went up into a poorly lit sky, and then once you factor in the wind, that made the ball change directions a couple of times, you really start to have an ‘oh shit’ moment as the ball dances in different directions.”
New Rochelle’s second run was scored in the bottom of the sixth, giving them a 2-0 lead. Purchase did not score their first run until the bottom of the eighth by sophomore outfielder Glennd Jarrin. Jarrin scored on a passed ball. The second run in that inning, which tied the game 2-2, was scored by sophomore designated hitter Dylan Flynn. Flynn scored on a ball that was put into play by La Sala.
The game, still tied 2-2 at the end of the ninth, went into extra innings. During the 10th inning Purchase and New Rochelle each scored three more runs. Again, both teams were tied, the score was 5-5 when the bottom of the 10th inning finished.
Senior shortstop Greg Walsh was the leadoff hitter for the top of the 11th inning. The intensity was felt in the stands, as well as on the field. Walsh remained confident as he went up to bat, he said, “With the way I’m hitting the ball lately, even though the results don’t show it, I knew I could square on up and get us going.” Walsh got on base, and then stole second. He was able to get moved over to third when Flynn grounded out.
As the wind picked up and the temperature began to drop, both teams were eager to finish the game. Purchase finished strong, the final score being 7-5 with two RBI singles from first baseman Brian Cunningham and second baseman Matthew Mulligan.
La Sala said, “Although it wasn’t a perfectly clean game, I felt as if there were silver linings and positive signs for this team going forward into a huge conference weekend that could really help us in the midst of our playoff push.”
The feeling was mutual with the whole Purchase Baseball team as the enter the weekend.
Walsh said, “We needed that one and should carry us over nicely into the biggest conference weekend of the year.” The team looks forward to the few games they have left in this season. La Sala said, “There’s no other group of guys I would rather go to battle with for the last 6 games of the season, and I have full confidence we will find our way in a playoff run.”
The Panthers will play the Saint Joseph’s College Eagles at Purchase on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m.