NYIT’s baseball season came to an end Monday.
After winning a program-record 37 games and the school’s first NCAA Division II Super Regional, NYIT was eliminated from the NCAA Division II College World Series following an 8-3 loss to Ashland Monday at the USA Baseball Training Center in Cary, North Carolina. No. 8 NYIT (37-16) lost its opening contest against top-seeded Colorado Mesa, 11-4, Saturday.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” coach Frank Catalanotto said. “We never could have imagined that we would have taken this team to the World Series this year. We’re one of eight teams in the whole country left.”
After four scoreless innings, No. 4 Ashland broke through with three runs in the fifth inning. Ashland (48-14) added three more runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 6-0 advantage.
But the Bears fought back in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring three runs, highlighted by Kieran Dowd’s two-run single, driving in John LaRocca and Ben McNeill.
After going 13-25-1 last year, NYIT improved by 24 wins under Catalanotto, the first-year head coach and former 14-year professional.
“I think it’s safe to say the program is officially turned around,” Catalanotto said. “When I was brought in here, [NYIT Athletic Director Daniel Velez] told me they needed someone to help turn this program around and I think myself and my coaching staff definitely did that. And there’s no reason to believe we can’t continue to do that.”
NYIT won its previous five games entering the College World Series for a 5-0 record in the regional and super regional rounds of the tournament.
“I think this experience of being here will only help them,” Catalanotto said. “Because we do plan on being back here at some point.”