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.
It’s been a long and disappointing season for the Jaspers for a second straight year. Last year, they finished 24-28 (11-13 MAAC), which ranked them sixth in the MAAC.
This was after winning back-to-back MAAC championships in 2011 (20-2 MAAC, 34-19) and 2012 (18-6 MAAC, 33-27). Head Coach Jim Duffy said the team is still learning and is already looking toward the future.
“It certainly is a rebuilding season,” said Duffy. “We’re retooling for the immediate future.”
Manhattan College baseball is 30 games into its season, and it has been nothing short of a big disappointment.
Nerves remedied with a bit of coach’s confidence and good sense can only help Manhattan College baseball freshman pitchers William Fabra, Joe Jacques and Joey Rocchietti so much.
This is especially true on a team in which even as freshman, the pitcher’s mound is up for the taking. All pitchers know slacking isn’t an option because anyone can be called to pitch at any point during a game.
But these freshmen aren’t freshmen at all.
“They may be freshman in the classroom,” Head Coach Jim Duffy said, “but the one advantage we have over some of the fall sports is we don’t really expect our freshman to act like freshman anymore. They’ve been a part of the program now for almost eight months.”
The 60 game race to the college baseball MAAC championship crowning is about to be underway this week.
Where does Manhattan College baseball sit?