The C.W. Post Baseball team won their first game of the season on March 9th in the Pioneers’ first home game of the season against Caldwell College. Junior starting pitcher Bo Budkevics tossed eight innings and struck out seven to lead the Pioneers to victory by a score of 5-2. The Cougars scored first off Budkevics in the first inning, surrendering one run. The Pioneers were held scoreless until the fourth inning, when the team scored three runs, led by sophomore third basemen Kevin Chenicek who finished the game 2-4 with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Freshman shortstop Tom Tolan finished the inning hitting a sacrifice fly to plate the Pioneers fifth and final run.
The Pioneers then flew down to West Palm Beach, Florida for a seven game tournament against some of the top competition in the northeast. The Pioneers opened the tournament with a double header against nationally ranked Southern Connecticut. The Pioneers stood toe-to-toe with the number 15 team in the nation, but came up short in both games, losing 3-1 and 4-3. Junior pitcher Bo Budkevics turned in another strong outing tossing seven innings striking out four and walking two. Both teams were scoreless through the first six innings of the game until the Pioneers broke through after a sacrifice bunt by sophomore transfer Matt Simone that moved Tolan to second after a leadoff single. Sophomore Casey McKay singled in Tolan to take a 1-0 lead that wouldn’t stand for long as the Owl’s answered right back, thanks to a bases loaded single that brought in two runs while scoring an insurance run in the eighth inning to seal the win for the Owl’s. In game two, the Pioneers scored first again after a leadoff double by Simone followed by a Casey McKay single to center in the bottom of the third. The lead was once again short lived. The Owls tied the game in the top of the next frame and went on to win the game by a final score of 4-3. Offensively the Pioneers were led by sophomore catcher Anthony Corona going 3-4 at the plate. The Pioneers would go on to drop their next five games to St. Michaels College, two more to Adelphi University, Umass Lowell, and nationally-ranked Franklin Pierce.
The Pioneers had a tough Florida trip, but the team is looking forward to conference play as they begin their quest to repeat as conference champions against starting pitcher Gabriel Duran and the Dowling College Golden Lions at home on Wednesday, March 23rd, at 3 p.m.