The great thing about an ace, as most coaches would attest, is the pitcher’s ability to make do.
Sometimes the conditions aren’t ideal. Sometimes they won’t have their best “stuff.” Sometimes it’ll be both.
But with an ace, sometimes it won’t matter.
Tyler Black wasn’t his usual self but managed to pitch 5 2/3 innings and give his New Paltz baseball team a chance — which it capitalized on in a 5-3 win over host Highland High School on Monday.
Joe DiMarco hit a two-run single to right-centerfield that gave New Paltz a 5-2 lead in the sixth inning, and the Huguenots held on.
Black threw only 64 of his 111 pitches for strikes. He struck out four batters while yielding six hits and five walks. But he did enough to earn the win.
“His fastball wasn’t pinpoint and the rain and the wet ball were factors,” New Paltz coach Sam Phelps said. “But he’s a workhorse and he managed to gut it out.”
Paul Hansut went 2 for 3 and Michael Doxey was 1 for 2 with an RBI for Highland.
Chris Massaro pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 to earn the save for the Huguenots (1-0). DiMarco went 2 for 4 with two walks. Matt Barbieri, Sean Boyle and Antonio Fazio each had an RBI. New Paltz totaled nine walks.
“Our philosophy is being patient and working the count,” said Phelps, who earned his 98th win. His team has three more contests this week as he closes in in 100. “We wanna work the at-bats and grind pitchers out.”
Stephen Haynes: email@example.com, 845-437-4826, Twitter: @StephenHaynes4