William Paterson Softball and Baseball Eyeing NJAC Bids


Ryan Doyle, Editor-In-Chief

Baseball: 21-11 (8-6 NJAC)

The Pioneers baseball team has gotten off to a solid start in conference play. At 8-6 and with just a handful of games to play, William Paterson needs a strong finish if they want to compete in the postseason. The fifth place Pioneers are tied with Kean University for the final two bids to the NJAC Tournament.

William Paterson will close conference play against the top two seeds in the conference, The College of New Jersey, and Rowan University. Alike last season, the Pioneers postseason hopes may come down to the final day of the season.

Throughout the season, the Pioneers have been led by tremendous starting pitching. Juniors Chris Babb and Corey Martinez, along with senior Adam Miller have highlighted the front end the the rotation.

Babb has carried over his success from a breakout sophomore campaign. Babb sits with a 3.80 ERA in 45 innings. He also leads the team with 55 K’s.

Aside a rough outing against Ramapo earlier this week, Martinez has been phenomenal. Posting a 2.29 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 51.0 innings. Martinez boasts a 5-2 record and

The only senior to start a game, Miller has been the definition of consistency. Miller has a team best 2.15 ERA (minimum 11 IP) and 37 K’s. A few weeks ago, Miller pitched 8.2 innings of shutout ball against rival Montclair State, in which he threw well over 100 pitches and struck out nine.

The rest of the pitching staff has also done its job. In just a handful of starts, pitchers like Jeff Lombardi Jr. Zach Polzer, and Kyle Weiner have all given the Pioneers quality performances.

When the game enters the late innings, William Paterson has been in good hands with Bryan Kopko and Doug Olcese. Closer Eric Rosenberg has also adjusted to his new role extremely well. The junior has five saves on the season.

At the plate, William Paterson has been led by an incredible group of underclassmen. Freshman Dan Carter may be the team’s most valuable player. Carter has mashed 46 hits and 19 RBI’s and leads the club with a .380 batting average.

In conference play, sophomore Carlos Perez has been scorching hot. The sophomore has 16 hits and 10 RBIs in NJAC play. Alongside him are Chris Liriano, Matt Ferrara and Fracis Deane who are all hitting over .300.

Vin Dorio has also been a factor off the bench and has come up clutch in multiple pinch hit scenarios and sits comfortably with a .450 OBP and 14 hits.

Underclassmen litter the Pioneers deep lineup. With NJAC hopes hanging on a handful of games, the youth will have to produce runs. The inexperienced Pioneers are up against to of the best teams in the nation. Both Rowan and TCNJ are among the best programs William Paterson has faced all season.

Softball: 20-12  (7-7 NJAC)

The William Paterson softball team are vying for an NJAC tournament berth. At the moment, the Pioneers are tied for fifth place in the conference. The team has struggled of late, winning just one of their last six ball games.

The schedule will get easier for WP as their next four games will be against Rutgers-Camden and NJCU, who are a combined 2-24 in NJAC play.

Despite the recent struggles, the Pioneers have put together a pretty strong season. With their overall record at eight games about .500, William Paterson has been led by their bats. The Pioneers has crushed 55 extra base hits with a .372 on base percentage.

Freshman Caitlyn Massaro leads the team in batting average at a .380 clip. The newcomer has 19 RBIs on the year and has yet to commit an error in the field.

Right behind Massaro, senior Eleni Lutas is hitting .379 and has seven extra base hits. Lutas has also been a threat on the base paths stealing 11 bags.

The trio of Kara Molnar, Andee Lupica and Christine Griffith are batting above .300. Molnar has a team-high seven triples in the campaign, while Griffith has smashed three home runs. While Lupica has appeared on the mound in 14 contests.

So far this season, the young pitching for the Pioneers have held their own. After losing key seniors in the front end of the pitching staff, underclassmen have stepped up.

Freshman Sarah Byrnes, the ace of the staff has pitched in 114.2 innings, 2.81 ERA with a 14-5 record. Byrnes has been exactly with the Pioneers needed this season.

Alongside her, Alexis Davidson and Andee Lupica each appeared in 14 games and have solidified the backend of the rotation.

The Pioneers face Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday in one of their final NJAC contests.