It’s been a long and disappointing season for the Jaspers for a second straight year. Last year, they finished 24-28 (11-13 MAAC), which ranked them sixth in the MAAC.
This was after winning back-to-back MAAC championships in 2011 (20-2 MAAC, 34-19) and 2012 (18-6 MAAC, 33-27). Head Coach Jim Duffy said the team is still learning and is already looking toward the future.
“It certainly is a rebuilding season,” said Duffy. “We’re retooling for the immediate future.”
In a season when a team is wrought by inconsistencies, there are few positives and many negatives. The positives for the Jaspers are from freshman pitcher Joey Rocchietti and sophomore flex player Christian Santisteban who have posted solid and consistent numbers.
And the negatives are caused by the entire team.
Captain Chris Kalousdian said the 11 freshmen and upperclassmen’s lack of chemistry led to most of the pitching and hitting problems the team faced. He noticed the chemistry started to show at Rider University a few weeks ago in an extra-inning win, but he said it was too late into season to make a turnaround.
“The talent was there,” said Kalousdian. “It was just inconsistency and the urgency on winning in the sense that there were a lot of young guys. We tried to pave the way for them, but it really wasn’t catching on.”
Hitting as a team is an unproductive .227 batting average. The one player who has been in the lineup most of the games throughout the season providing the team with both consistent batting average and power in the middle of the lineup is Santisteban.
|Batting Average||Doubles||Homeruns||Runs Batted In||Slugging Percentage||Walks||On Base Percentage|
“I want to be the toughest out I can be possible,” said Santisteban.
The main problem he sees the lack of offense is not listening to coaches who tried to introduce a new approach. That system was successful until players started to put their own motives first. Players are just starting to return to trusting coaches, but as Kalousdian said, it’s too late for that.
As for pitching, it’s throwing to an unsustainable 5.04 earned run average and a .269 batting average against.
|Earned Run Average||Win-Loss Record||Innings Pitched||Walks||Strikeouts||Batting Average Against|
Rocchietti said early on in the season he focused on being better each time out on the pitcher’s mound with no weight put on his shoulders. He has felt differently about that mentality as the season has progressed.
“I’m taking more of a leadership role,” said Rocchietti. “My goal is mainly to give up zero runs every time I go out. I can’t accept losing. At this point I have to put the weight on my shoulders.”
He said if there is one excuse for the Jaspers’ pitching woes, it’s that the staff is young and doesn’t have a lot of game experience. But the young pitchers are learning, developing and plan to help the team win in the future.
Although the Jaspers are ranked ninth in the MAAC, they don’t seem like much of a threat after a season in which nothing seemed to go right. Tony Rossi, head coach of the MAAC’s first place team Siena College (12-3 MAAC, 16-26), never takes anything for granted, especially against a team like Manhattan.
“They’re always a very competitive team and they have quality athletes, quality players,” said Rossi. “And usually they are a very tough game when we play them. They’re a team that you really don’t want to play.”