LIU-Brooklyn Freshman Hurler Grabs Top Rookie Honors
By John Torenli
A long shot to match the program-record 28 wins they posted a season ago, the Blackbirds of LIU-Brooklyn’s baseball team have been showing signs of late that they certainly have a “Chance” to earn a spot in next month’s Northeast Conference Tournament.
Freshman Chance Fuglistahler, a 5-foot-10, 145-pound left-hander from Fontana, Calif., is one of the main reasons why the Blackbirds (14-23 overall, 6-10 NEC) aren’t giving up on returning to the league championships for the second consecutive season.
The southpaw sensation earned NEC Rookie of the Week honors Tuesday after flirting with a no-hitter in his second complete-game effort of the campaign in Saturday’s 16-1 rout of conference rival Wagner. Fuglistahler also tossed two innings of scoreless relief against non-league opponent St. Peter’s last Wednesday.
In 13 appearances, including five starts, overall this year, Fuglistahler is 3-2 with a 4.43 ERA, striking out 39 over 40 2/3 innings.
At Staten Island on Saturday, the first-year history major posted LIU’s only win during a four-game set with the Seahawks, who pulled three games in front of the Blackbirds for the fourth and final NEC Tournament spot.
With 12 league games remaining, LIU will have an opportunity to climb back into the thick of the race, especially if Fuglishtahler remains in top form.
The soon-to-be 19-year-old throttled the Wagner offense, retiring the first 11 batters he faced before yielding a single in the top of the fourth inning. The Seahawks couldn’t manage another base runner until the seventh and final frame as Fuflistahler finished with six strikeouts and one walk.
The Blackbirds hope playing in familiar territory will get them back into a consistent groove as they kick off a 10-game homestand Wednesday afternoon against Rider at 3:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart, which sits two games in front of LIU for sixth place in the league standings, will be Downtown for the opener of a critical four-game set beginning Friday.
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Another Californian, LIU-Brooklyn junior Emily Kakuska, took home NEC Softball Co-Player of the Week honors after hitting .778 with a homer, three doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored during a three-game stretch.
The Fontana native ripped a pair of two-base hits against St. John’s last Thursday and added five hits, including two doubles, a homer and two RBIs during a doubleheader sweep of defending NEC champion Sacred Heart at LIU Field on Sunday.
Batting a team-best .424 against league opponents, the 20-year-old catcher/designated player will try to boost the Blackbirds’ second-place standing in the NEC during Friday’s doubleheader at Central Connecticut State.
LIU (17-30, 8-4 NEC) is only one game behind Robert Morris for the NEC’s top spot.
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The Brooklyn College softball team took advantage of winless Sarah Lawrence College on Sunday in Bronxville, cruising to a doubleheader sweep with a twin blanking.
Backed by strong starting efforts from sophomore Marie Oneto (James Madison High School) and redshirt freshman Kimberly Brennan, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 13-13 overall this season.
Sophomore Tara Diesel, freshman Becky Ganley (also a Madison alum) and sophomore Stephanie Caravello (Leon Goldstein High School) each homered for BC, which was scheduled to host York College on Tuesday in its final CUNYAC doubleheader of the season.
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The NYU-Polytechnic softball squad swept four games over the weekend from Mount Saint Mary and Sage Colleges, improving to 9-1 in Skyline Conference play.
The first-place Lady Jays (21-9 overall) got a two-hit shutout from junior Miranda Mirelli and a game-winning homer from Brooklyn native Corine Fitzgibbons during a 1-0 triumph in the opener against the Mount.
In the nightcap, sophomore Sadie Hoeschen went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored as the Jays won 5-2.
Fitzgibbons, a graduate of Bay Ridge’s Fontbonne Hall Academy, ripped a key two-run double in Sunday’s 12-4 rout of Sage in the opener before junior Shelby Bruns blasted a two-RBI triple in the nightcap to spark a 7-2 victory.
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Off the diamond and onto the track, LIU-Brooklyn posted some impressive results in last Saturday’s Metropolitan Championships in Piscataway, N.J.
Jessie Gaines set a new school record in the women’s long jump at 6.45 meters and fellow senior Amire Solomon established a triple-jump mark for the Blackbird men with a leap of 15.67 meters, good for first overall in the event.
The Blackbirds return to action Wednesday in the Wagner Quad meet in Staten Island.
Not to be outdone, the Terriers of St. Francis represented Remsen Street proudly with some impressive performances of their own Saturday, taking home the gold medal in the 4x800 relay event.
Junior Paul Gilhuley and twin brother Joseph — both products of Brooklyn’s Bishop Ford High School — were joined by junior Brian Nersten and senior Rafal Ksepka in setting a winning mark of 7:39.42, the second-best time of any NEC squad this season.
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The Brooklyn College men’s volleyball team saw its chances of capturing the CUNYAC title end with last Thursday’s straight-set defeat to top-seeded Hunter College in Manhattan.
The 25-18, 25-18, 25-14 result left BC with an overall record of 10-14 on the season.
Senior Keiran Halton tallied a match-high 10 kills en route to being named to the All-Tournament team for the Bulldogs.
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The NYU-Poly men’s tennis team remained in first place in the Skyline Conference on Saturday, defeating Mount Saint Mary 6-3 to improve to 4-0 in league play.
Freshman Chris Lysiuk won by scores of 6-4 and 6-1 in first singles to spark the Jays, who will meet St. Joseph’s of Long Island on Wednesday for another league match.
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The LIU-Brooklyn women’s tennis team has been seeded fourth for this weekend’s NEC Tennis Championships at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J.
The Blackbirds, who went 2-1 against NEC opponents during the regular season, will take on No. 5 Mount St. Mary’s in the first round.
Junior Taysha Blessington has led the way for LIU in NEC play, going a perfect 3-0 against conference foes at No. 2 singles.
Both the St. Francis men’s and women’s tennis teams will be participating in the event, which kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.