Alicia Unis ’13 Staff Writer
As the sun returns, the grass greens, and the sound of cracking bats echoes into the bitter air of campus, you can feel it: it’s baseball season.
The Merrimack College baseball team has made a strong showing this season. Currently standing with a 20-14 overall record, they have solidified themselves as a firm opposing force to their competition. They have most recently proved their resiliency through a turnaround series of games this past weekend.
Beginning with a loss to Adelphi in early April, the Warriors grudgingly descended into a seven-game losing streak. But the team refused to let a few fallen games define their season. In true Warrior spirit, they instead used it to ignite a determination to once again become victorious.
This opportunity came in the form of the Saint Anselm’s College baseball team. Having an adjusted double-header due to the rainy weather on Saturday, the Warriors overtook Saint A’s in a single game, winning 1-0 in the first of a three-game series. Saint A’s defended their home field in the second game on Sunday, with a 6-1 victory over Merrimack. After leading the Warriors only 1-0 for the first six innings, Saint A’s went on a hitting streak, scoring five runs in the seventh inning, and overwhelming the silent bats of the Warriors.
With the series in a 1-1 stalemate, the Warriors stepped onto the field for the third, final game. After a few innings of consistent scoring, Saint A’s led Merrimack 4-1 going into the top of the eighth. But Merrimack really “stepped up to the plate” with a frenzied swing of the bat, scoring 4 runs to lead Saint A’s 5-4; Saint A’s answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the eighth to lead 6-5. And in another bat-cracking inning, the Warriors tallied an additional 4 runs against Saint A’s, who went silent in the bottom of the ninth for a 9-6 Merrimack victory.
Senior captain and second-baseman Alan Pastyrnak Jr. names this game as most memorable in the entire season, saying, “This past weekend to me has been the highlight of the season … a huge come-from-behind win over Saint A’s at their field on their senior day.” It was a game to remember for this team. But the greatness of this team cannot be found in statistics, or counted among a row of wins and losses.
Their greatest strength is each other. With a unique compilation of batting intros — including Rihanna’s hit song “S&M” — reflecting each player, the team has a roster entirely constituted of characters. Pastyrnak credits this as the team’s defining quality and what separates them from the rest.
He says, “The best part of being on the baseball team is definitely having the teammates I have … it’s what separates us.” And as the team looks with upturned caps to the rest of the season, they hope to obtain that coveted spot in the NE-10 play-offs and continue their season well into May. The Warriors have an upcoming home weekend series against Franklin Pierce. And while they hope for the future successes of their season, their greatest success is in the character of their team.