BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) baseball team was scheduled to break in their new home field, Calvert Vaux Park, with four games in two days this past weekend, but were unable to due to rain. Now, the Bears open the Coach Blumenauer era on Tuesday (Mar. 6) at MCU Park in Coney Island taking on NYU.
Tuesday, Mar. 6 at 4 p.m.
- A year ago the Bears ended at a 14-19 mark (9-9 SKY) and were on the outside looking in at the playoffs due to a tiebreaker for the final seed. Over the course of the up and down campaign, SJC won back-to-back games three times, including a three-game win streak (Apr. 13-18) in which they scored 13+ runs in each game.
- Last season NYU finished with a 23-13 record (4-8 UAA) and concluded the campaign on a four-game winning streak. Thus far in 2018, they have carried over this momentum as they currently sit at 4-0 on the young season. In their opener, the Violets downed New Paltz 4-2 (Mar. 1) while holding them scoreless all game until a throwing error in the top of the ninth allowed two unearned runs to score. Then, NYU hosted SUNY Canton for three games in two days (Mar. 3-4) and handily won each contest behind a 30-5 total run differential.
Keys to the Contest
- First-year head coach Peter Blumenauer is overseeing a St. Joseph's program that has already seen plentiful turnover compared to 2017 as just one of the 12 returning players saw consistent playing time last season. Picked second-to-last in the Skyline Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Bears will rely upon a healthy crop of freshmen, a couple transfers, and many of last season's reserves stepping into bigger roles. Leading the squad will be junior infielder Adam Schwartz (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan Wagner), who appeared in 32 of the Bears' 33 games last season and batted .254 with 25 RBI (third on team), nine doubles (second on team), and two home runs (t-first on team).
- The Violets have enjoyed early success in 2018 and, on the offensive side, it's been largely thanks to junior outfielder and leadoff hitter Jack Walter. Walter is 5-for-10 at the plate in four games drawing five walks and scoring nearly a third of the team's runs (nine). If Walker is the catalyst then senior Jonathan Iaione is the finisher, as he's already racked up 13 RBI (.455 avg) as well as a .909 slugging percentage in the opening weekend. To back up the high-volume scoring, NYU's pitching staff has also accumulated a lights-out 1.06 ERA through four games.
- SJC is 4-6 all-time against the Violets and saw a two-game win streak in the series snapped last year with a 6-5 loss at MCU (Mar. 23).