Anthony Cittadino, Assistant Copy Editor
The Utica College baseball team lost both games to Empire 8 rival, St. John Fisher College in on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Vincent Burillo and junior JT Ross helped the Pioneers take an early 2-0 lead at the end of the second inning in the first game. That was the only lead UC had in this one as Fisher tied it up in the third. The Cardinals then had a hot forth inning as they added six more runs to the scoreboard.
The Cardinals continued to add runs till the end of the game to win 14-2. Ross finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI. Senior Matt DeMartino finished 1-for-3, and thought that the team didn’t play to its full potential.
“The overall team performance wasn’t what we wanted in the first game,” DeMartino said. “We had opportunities to score and couldn’t capitalize on a strong team.”
This was the first game the Pioneers played since last Saturday because the weather conditions have been so poor. The team had time to rest and DeMartino believes that when the weather conditions improve the team will improve.
“I don’t think the gap had much to do with it, I think we needed time to work on our swings and other small things to allow us to be successful,” he said. “We are getting sick of playing in below freezing weather so now that the weather is starting to look nicer we hope that it will help our play.”
The Cardinals carried its momentum from game one over into the second game as they jumped out to a 6-0 lead. The Pioneers put together a solid third inning as they scored four runs to cut the deficit down to two runs heading into the fourth. However, Fisher kept finding ways to score and won 14-6.
Freshman Tim Quinlan finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs to help UC, but felt the team, as a whole needs some work in order to turn the season around.
“I feel like the whole team was out of it. No one made the plays and it showed,” Quinlan said. “In the second game, we started making the plays and hitting the ball and it was actually a game for a little bit. The other pitcher was one of the best we are going to see all year, and we scored six runs off of him. Fisher is an amazing team and in the end they won, but it was not because we didn’t play well. They just hit the ball, nothing we could do about that.”
Junior Ed Zakrewski started game two and pitched four innings, including three strikeouts.
“The team played really well. They were hitting Fisher’s number one and playing great defensive behind me,” Zakrewski said. “Once I gave up 4 runs in the first they started to chip away and got me back into the game.”
UC returns to the diamond Saturday, where they will host conference opponent Ithaca College on Saturday and Sunday. The Pioneers believe the best is yet to come for the remainder of the season.
“I think we are turning the corner at the right time and I believe we can beat anybody right now,” Zakrewski said.
Featured image; Senior Matthew DeMartino picked up two hits Sunday in the Pioneers’ losses against St. John Fisher. Photo by ucpioneers.com.