‘Til baseball do us part: The battery

Baseball can’t be played without a pitcher or catcher.

Without his catcher, a pitcher has no one to throw to and create a pace of game with. And for a catcher without his pitcher, he has no one to give pitch signs to and to keep in check throughout a game.

“For those two positions to really be in sync, it’s what makes the team go,” former Manhattan College pitching coach Justin Echevarria said. “So that’s why it’s called the battery. Without those two guys, there really is no season. … You’re only as good as they are.”

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Trevor Glassman: A humble, hyped bench player

Finalist at the ’15 “The Quadrangle” staff awards.

In July ’11, Trevor Glassman’s aunt, Ivy Siegle, died of breast cancer.

At the time of her funeral, he was at AAU nationals with his team Bishop Elite. When he realized he would miss out on his aunt’s ceremony, he cried before and after games but knew she would want him to play and perform well, Trevor says.

“Listen, you’re at AAU nationals you don’t need to come to the funeral,” his father Stuart recalled telling Trevor, “because you were there when she was alive. But win a game for her with your team.”

His team won.

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Between the Base Paths: Dutchess to the rescue?

(Editor’s Note: Stats accurate as of April 12.)

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 of D1Baseball.com’s Eric Sorenson and “The ‘ J’ Effect.” 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.

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Oh, snap!: Tommy John Surgery

Named “Best Sports News Article: 2014-2015” by Manhattan College’s “The Quadrangle”

The need for a pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery (TJS) — repairment of the ulnar collateral ligament — is an epidemic.

Between ’05 and ’11, the average number of TJS cases in Major League Baseball per year was 16. That number skyrocketed from ’12 to ’14, increasing to 28 per year. In ’14 alone, there were more TJS conducted than in the entire ’90s: 80, according to ESPN’s Sport Science.

TJS has an 80-percent success rate, which is high but still leaves pitchers with a one in five chance of failure, according to USA TODAY Sports.

“It’s not so much the MLB organizations but the pitchers, even going back to youth baseball, which is problematic,” Andy Martino, “New York Daily News” baseball insider, said. “A lot of times pitchers are drafted already well along the way in having this kind of damage because of overuse. … There are all kinds of debate. Nobody knows the answer. Teams are trying all sorts of different things and there’s no evidence that anything is really helping or hurting. It’s just hard to figure out.”

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Between the Base Paths: Growing pains

The Lamar Cardinals’ sweep of the Manhattan Jaspers two weekends ago showed off Manhattan’s expected slow start.

For starters, they haven’t practiced outside since October and are now facing live pitching for the first time. So their early rusty play is understandable. Plus, it’s simply too early in the season to nitpick.

“(The series) was certainly productive, but the numbers wouldn’t tell you that,” Jim Duffy, Jaspers head coach, said. “All in all the numbers they look disappointing, but I kind of I like some of the things that I saw and, in the same vein, we have a lot of work to do. That was totally anticipated.”

The most productive part of the weekend at Lamar for Duffy was that everybody played. Right now, he wants his team to focus more on the process of play, body language, effort and execution as opposed to results. Results to him are meaningful, but don’t become important until MAAC play.

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Between the Base Paths: Pitching, pitching, pitching

The Manhattan Jaspers rebuild is over. Inexperience and injuries are replaced with experience, health, talent and depth.

Where the pitching is concerned they are impressive. It’s a staff comprised of young talent of the deepest and highest quality, and to no surprise. Jasper head coach, Jim Duffy, recruited heavily in pitching in the 2014 college baseball draft class. The top recruit, Tom Cosgrove, was projected to be a pitcher to watch in the MAAC by “The ‘J’ Effect” and D1Baseball.com last week.

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Back of the Net: Jaspers land Hokies transfer

The spring cannot come soon enough for the Manhattan Jaspers men’s soccer team. For those who did not follow the Jasper’s 2014 fall season, it was not one they would like to remember.

From Sept. 19 to Oct. 11, they were goalless in 587 straight minutes, a span of six games played. That was not their only problem. Their struggle to find the back of the net – no pun intended – also had them on a 13 game losing streak after starting the season 1-1.

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Between the Base Paths: Returning & new captains named

This is what Manhattan College Jaspers head coach, Jim Duffy, said late last season.

“It certainly [was] a rebuilding season. We’re retooling for the immediate future.”

When a team is in a rebuilding situation it can go one of two ways:

1. Start over with new personnel and tank. 2. Trust in the people already in place and hope for the best from in house talent. Duffy and his Jaspers decided on No. 2.

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Back of the Net: Season meanings

Luke Greaves tying his shoes during practice. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes.

Luke Greaves tying his shoes during practice. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes.

The Manhattan Jaspers found themselves looking up at every other school in the MAAC after failing to win 12 straight games from early September to late October.

Next thing they knew, they were on the team bus taking a 14-hour round trip to take on the Niagara Purple Eagles in cold, freezing temperatures with a rain and snow mix falling.

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Alex Shackley: Average height, big heart

This is one of four articles nominated as a finalist at the ’15 “The Quadrangle” staff awards.

It was Alex Shackley’s senior year at Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas when Justin Mayorga, a former high school teammate, lost his sister Jessica at the age of 22. No cause of death was ever found.

“I look back at that day and I remember every single second of it,” Alex said, who played center mid-field for the Palo Verde soccer team.

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Jaspers to host ’15 MAAC championship

Three months ago, it was announced that the Manhattan Jaspers baseball program would no longer be calling Van Cortlandt Park home.

The park that is in constant need of field work done by the Jaspers themselves, uneven dirt in the infield and on the pitcher’s mound, pocketed grass in the outfield and an aging scoreboard. That’s all without mentioning the singular set of bleachers for fans and students to sit on that creak and rattle when climbed and walked on, making the trespasser fear that the seats are about to cave in and collapse.

This is the same park that housed the 2012 Jasper team to post an 18-0 undefeated home record. From its cons to its pros, they’re exchanging Van Cortlandt for Dutchess Stadium, a 4,494 seat AstroTurf minor league stadium home to the Tampa Bay Rays class-A affiliate the Hudson Valley Renegades, in Wappingers Fall, N.Y.

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Back of the Net: Freshmen Jaspers face personal adjustments, challenges

Joe Hulme (c.) catching his breath during stoppage in play during practice last week preparing for the Jaspers’s second MAAC game against the Monmouth Hawks. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes.

Joe Hulme catching his breath during stoppage in play during practice last week preparing for the Jaspers’s second MAAC game against the Monmouth Hawks. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes.

As the season reaches its mid-point for the Manhattan Jaspers, the 10 freshmen Jaspers are no longer new to the team and fans.

Three of the freshmen who have been quite impressive early on are Joe Hulme, Jose Meza and Luke Greaves. Understandably so, Manhattan head coach Jorden Scott said all of the freshmen have been excellent.

“They’ve all came in and been really mature, which is really pleasing to me,” he said. “And for them you just hope they pick up enough that they can contribute. If they don’t pick up enough then it’s going to be a tough season for them.”

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Back of the Net: Manhattan struggles on offense

Tommy Amos, left, Alex Shackley, center, and Alex Coates McDowall, right, during player introductions before the first game of the year at Lehigh. Photo taken by Jonathan Reyes

At about the mid-point part of their season, the Manhattan Jaspers have been shutout in their last four games, a total of 402 minutes.

They need a goal and soon.

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Back of the Net: Men’s Soccer Shutout in Last Three Games

Before the Ivy League weekend at Yale and Harvard, the Manhattan Jaspers were on a 10-day “honeymoon period,” as Jaspers’ head coach Jorden Scott called it, from when they last played and lost to the Fordham Rams 3-1.

Alex Shackley (l.) chases down La Salle Explorer George Breslin. Photo taken by Kevin Fuhrmann.

A couple of positives junior captain Alex Shackley took away from the long break was being able to work on an attacking style of play to try to help turn their many goal chances into goal scores. Scott said his team needs to be more clinical in front of the goal, which includes being more selfish and direct at times.

The Jaspers’ honeymoon ended fast, as they struggled to score in the last three games, all to non-conference opponents.

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