Between the Base Paths: Dutchess to the Rescue?

Manhattan’s season has been okay.

At the start of the season, the pitching and overall depth of the team looked to be promising. Tom Cosgrove caught the attention‘s Eric Sorenson and The Quadrangle. The return of Mike Scarinci from last season’s Tommy John surgery recovery and Scott McClennan from a blood clot (2013), micro-fracture left knee surgery (2014) are a few examples of that.

Cosgrove was named MAAC Rookie of the Week, ECAC Co-Rookie of the Week and shutout Rutgers 2-0 on March 31, while Scarinci has pitched to a 3.94 earned run average and McClennan earned MAAC Pitcher of the Week on March 10.

Out of the bullpen Shawn Kanwisher has posted a 2.35 ERA in eight appearances.

Pitching isn’t the problem. It’s the offense and defense. Manhattan’s team batting average is .194 and it averages three runs per game. Chris Reynolds, Christian Santisteban and Jose Carerra — 15-16 on steals — are the only ones on the team to record an on-base percentage above .300.

“I’m not worried about it,” Reynolds said. “… As of right now, we might just be in our own heads a little bit. We’re so worried about scoring runs and trying so hard we sometimes get tense at the plate and we don’t think right. If we just start relaxing, being a little more calm…we’ll start seeing pitches well.”

On defense it has committed 44 errors. Adam Genners, Matt Forlow and Michael Pfenninger have combined for 22 of those.

Marist leads the MAAC with the fewest with 18.

These mishaps have caused 32% of the runs allowed by Manhattan pitchers to cross home plate.

“You’re supposed to field your position at this level,” McClennan said. “The errors just keep happening no matter what surface we’re on. If it’s turf, grass, gym floor it’s always the same thing. The field is not to blame. It’s the personnel. It’s what you’re doing.”

“We need to tighten up the defense,” coach Jim Duffy said. “That has been the biggest disappointment on my end. So, we need to sure up the defense and that pitching will keep us in it. That’s going to be our key to success.”

With 22 games remaining and nine of those being played at its new home field Dutchess Stadium, it’s time for 10-seed Manhattan to start playing up to their expectations now, Duffy said.

“It’s a little bit of a hike getting there…,” Reynolds said. “We just need to go out and show…we may not necessarily be at Van Cortlandt anymore but we’re still the Jaspers.”

“That’s our new VCP,” McClennan said. “We got to get used to it to turn this thing around.”