After a disappointing start to the season, the baseball team is finally starting to put everything together ? and just in time.

UR has won two games in a row heading into the toughest part of its schedule ? six double headers, including five against Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association opponents, in nine days.

“This is a good roll, winning two in a row,” head coach Joe Reina said. “At the same time, we’ve got to work pretty hard and make some adjustments if we want to win our conference.”

Hartwick

Freshman Joe Ullman pitched a complete game to lead the Yellowjackets to a 5-1 victory over Hartwick College in the second game of a double header Tuesday. The win followed a 2-1 loss in the first game and snapped a five-game losing streak.

Ullman allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out six. Senior Mike Carletta and sophomore Justin Sansone combined to allow seven hits and no walks in the first game.

“Hartwick’s not a good team. All you’ve got to do is stay away from Broadway ? don’t throw it down the middle of the plate,” Ullman said. “We know what we’ve got to do, it’s just a matter of hitting our spots and not trying to get too cute.”

Despite the win and two convincing pitching performances, offense was still a major concern for the Yellowjackets, who were averaging less than three runs per game since sweeping a double header from Cazenovia College on Sunday, April 7. Fortunately, the offense broke out of its slump the next day.

Utica

UR scored seven runs in the third inning en route to a 16-11 victory over Utica College on Wednesday. Sophomore first baseman Mike Lesczinski went 4-for-4 with a home run and four runs scored.

“I’ve been struggling the last couple games, so it felt good to get my stroke back for one game at least,” Lesczinski said. “Everyone’s pretty much been down since the season began and I think we needed a day like this to get the confidence back. We’ve got the talent, we just need to get the confidence.”

Lesczinski’s homer, a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the seventh, was especially important as UR’s 10-3 lead was slipping away. Utica scored five runs off of junior Justin Davis in the fifth and one off of senior Brian Schobel in the seventh to pull within one run.

UR scored three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth on a home run from junior outfielder Ryan Hanley. Utica picked up two meaningless runs on a homer in the top of the ninth.

“I haven’t been hitting that well as of late, but today they were a little weak on pitching and it gave everybody an opportunity to hit the ball hard,” Hanley said. “Everyone’s been working really hard. We’ve got a bunch of guys who are ready to bust out and I think today some of them did.”

Schobel came on in relief of Davis in the fifth inning and allowed just one run over the next three innings to give the offense a chance to regain the momentum.

“All I really had to do was keep the ball down. They’re not that strong a hitting team,” Schobel said. “We’ve got a good staff with a lot of potential. It’s just some minor changes we need to make. We’ve been a lot better lately.”

Despite the recent wins, Reina is not taking future success for granted.

“I think we’re close, [but] we can always get better,” he said. “We’ve just got to be able to execute any one of our plays at any time. Right now, that’s what we need to improve.”

One advantage for the Yellowjackets is that three of the next four double headers will be at home.

“It’s been tough on these guys because we’ve been traveling,” Reina said. “A day off will be nice and we’ll have a good practice on Friday and be ready to go the next three days.”

UR plays Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 1 p.m. Saturday at Towers Field. The Yellowjackets will then face Vassar College at noon Sunday at Towers Field before traveling to Watertown for a 4 p.m. double header against St. Lawrence University on Monday.

The Yellowjackets seem to sense the end of their struggles, and their modest two-game winning streak has given them confidence that they can compete with the tougher teams this weekend.

“We’ll be ready for RPI,” Hanley said.

Jacobs can be reached at bjacobs@campustimes.org.



5 students banned from campus for Gaza solidarity encampment

UR has been banning community members from campus since November for on-campus protests, but the first bans for current students were issued this weekend.

Live updates: Wallis Hall sit-ins

Editor’s Note (5/4/24): This article is no longer being updated. For our most up to date coverage, look for articles…

Zumba in medicine, the unexpected crossover

Each year at URMC, a new cohort of unsuspecting pediatrics residents get a crash course. “There are no mistakes in Zumba,” Gellin says.