Utica, NY (April 7, 2014) – The Utica College baseball team is back in action on Tuesday as it hosts the 27th annual Jackie Robinson Game against Hamilton College at the Utica College baseball field … First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
The Series: Utica currently leads the all-time series, 14-12, but Hamilton gained ground in last year’s 6-1 victory … In last year’s game UC led 1-0 early against host Hamilton in the 26th annual Jackie Robinson Baseball Game, but the Continentals responded with six unanswered runs, including a grand slam from the bat of senior Gabe Klein in the bottom of the seventh, to help the Continentals past the Pioneers.
Last Time Out: UC (3-7, 0-2 E8) dropped two games to Empire 8 Conference opponent St. John Fisher College last Saturday in Rochester … In the first game, a 6-0 loss,Ryan Watson (Deerfield, NY/Whitesboro) led the way for the Pioneers with two hits in three at bats but the team could only muster four hits in the game … Alec Choleva(Coventry, CT/East Catholic) struck out nine in six innings of work … In game two, UC registered just two hits in 28 at bats in a 3-0 loss … Joshua Webb (Verona, NY/VVS)struck out a career-high 12 in six innings, giving up two unearned runs.
Up to the Plate, Ryan Watson (Deerfield, NY/Whitesboro): Watson had two of the team’s six hits in two games this past weekend against St. John Fisher … On the year he is leading the team in RBIs (15) and is fourth on the team in batting average (.406) … He is getting on base every other plate appearance and is second on the team on on-base percentage (.500).
Empire 8 Conference Ranks: Thomas Dinnen (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas ) is fifth in the conference in batting average (.412) and Watson is sixth (.406) … Alec Choleva (Coventry, CT/East Catholic) has had an explosive bat this year and is ranked third in the E8 in slugging percentage (.719) … Watson’s ability to get on base half of the time ranks him fifth in on-base percentage (.500) … As a team, UC ranks second in on base percentage (.402) and third in batting average (.292) and slugging (.416).
Scouting Hamilton: The Continentals (7-6) are coming off of two losses to Amherst on March 28 … It was the first two games since Hamilton went 7-4 on a trip to Winter Haven, FL … Hamilton’s top hitter is Joe Jensen who is currently leading the team in average (.455), slugging (.523), and on-base percentage (.547).
PIONEERS CRUISE PAST VASSAR-IMPROVE TO 3-0 TO START SEASON
WINTER HAVEN, (3-17-14) – The Utica College baseball team continued its impressive surge Monday morning with a 16-2 victory over Upstate New York rival Vassar College at the Russ Matt Tournament in Winter Haven, Florida.
Sophomore local product Adam Pexton (Whitesboro, NY/Whitesboro) and senior utility Alec Choleva(Coventry, CT/East Catholic) led UC as they combined a 7-for-9 outing at the dish with seven runs and seven RBI. Pexton was 4-for-5 with four runs while Choleva added six RBI with a home run and two doubles.
It’s been 21 years since the Pioneers, now 3-0 overall, opened up the season with three-straight wins. The 1993 UC squad went 5-0 to open up the season. Vassar evened its overall record at 3-3 with the loss and returns to action Tuesday in Russ Matt Tournament play.
Utica is right back on the diamond Wednesday afternoon as well as it squares off against Fairleigh Dickson – College at Florham. Game one of Wednesday’s twin bill is set for 3 p.m. FDU is currently 3-2 on the season and plays Oglethorpe University Tuesday afternoon.
UC jumped right out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on four hits. Sophomore Adam Pexton (Whitesboro, NY/Whitesboro) continued his hot bat with a leadoff double to center field and then scored off a double down the left field line by Choleva to take the first lead of the game. The Pioneers would string together two more consecutive RBI hits from the juniors Ryan Watson (Deerfield, NY/Whitesboro) and Vincent Burillo (Montgomery, NY/Valley Central ) to conclude the first inning scoring.
Senior hurler Chris Jeffers (Albany, NY/Bishop Maginn) allowed two walks in the bottom half of the inning but was able to escape with no runs or hits. Vassar’s Denis Shanagher led off with a walk and tried taking second however junior backstop Thomas Dinnen (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas ) gunned him down. Jeffers then got a ground out to second and a line out to third to retire the Brewers.
UC did not let up as it came right back in its next at bat with six more runs on six hits. Pexton started off with an RBI single to left field followed by a fielder’s choice sac bunt from junior second baseman Benjamin Hobaica (Clinton, NY/Clinton) to move to a 5-0 edge. Three consecutive hits including two doubles to would account for the next three runs as UC moved to a commanding 9-0 cushion. Choleva had an RBI double followed by an RBI single from Watson and then a two RBI double off the wood of Burillo.
Jeffers allowed one hit in the second inning with no runs giving the hot bats of Utica another chance to put up some. After senior shortstop Rob Heath (Central Square, NY/Paul V. Moore) was hit by a pitch and Pexton once again got a base knock, Choleva came up with two outs and cracked a bomb over the left center wall for his second of the early season, giving UC a 12-0 advantage.
Vassar got on the board in the bottom of the third as it rallied with two outs to score two runs. Three consecutive Brewers reached base with two outs as they manufactured their only scores of the morning.
Jeffers posted his first win of his senior escapade tossing six full frames only just two earned runs on five hits. The senior, two sport athlete walked five and struck out three in the win. Sophomore William Winsman (Palatine Bridge, NY/Canajoharie) relieved Jeffers and locked up the win for the Pioneers, allowing just one hit in the final frame.
Vincent Burillo (Montgomery, NY/Valley Central ) posted a five RBI day on three hits including two doubles while Hobaica and Watson each chipped in with two hits and two scores. Heath, in the ninth spot, scored four times on just one hit. He was hit by a pitch twice and reached on an error, scoring every time.
UC has scored 53 runs in just three games (19 innings) for an average of 17.6 runs per contest and 2.8 runs per inning. Utica scored just 59 runs total over its first 17 games of 2013