Hitting into history
By: Mike Rose
Most athletes only dream of being remembered in the history books. For Nicholas Pastore, that dream has become a reality during his time as a member of the Brockport baseball program.
Pastore has enjoyed a unique journey that certainly has played into his record setting career. Pastore has played six seasons at Brockport due to being granted two extra seasons of eligibility because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That certainly doesn’t diminish the production from Pastore who has compiled a .324 career batting average, including a .356 average the last three seasons. Brockport head coach Justin Beach says the increased maturity has been a boost for Pastore.
“The biggest thing a lot of people don’t realize is that although he’s been here longer, he hasn’t really had more opportunities as far as games or at bats,” Beach said. “The biggest difference is that he’s older, more mature and has more experience under his belt. I think in our program our guys develop more and more each year and it’s just evident that guys are going to be better in their sixth year than they were in their freshman year.”
Pastore has certainly taken advantage of his time as a Golden Eagle. With at least five games still to play in his career he sits first in Brockport history in at-bats (655), hits (213), triples (13) and stolen bases (64). He also ranks second in runs (155), third in RBI (126), tied-fifth in doubles (35) and sixth in home runs (14). Pastore, despite all the records to his name, credits his coaches for his success.
“Honestly, it’s just a lot of the coaching helping me develop and become the best player I could be. When I go to the plate, I have confidence, and I know everyone has confidence in me. It was just put the bat on ball and it found holes,” Pastore said.
Pastore’s teammate and roommate for all six years at Brockport Cooper Meldrim believes Pastore’s work ethic played a major role in his success.
“He’s just a great competitor and he works his ass off,” Meldrim said. “He’s a very stubborn personality so he never wants to not be the best person out there and he’ll show that a little bit. He’s got some swagger behind his play. It’s cool to see because it works into everything else he does in life. He’s got that mentality for everything he does, and it translates well to baseball.”
As Pastore continues to chase individual records, his goals remain team oriented.
“Hopefully we can win the SUNYACs, that’s the first goal. I’ve never done that before. I’d love to just dogpile with my boys and then see how far we can go with this thing,” Pastore said.
Brockport has not claimed the SUNYAC title since the 2010 season and has only won twice since 2004. Currently this season they sit in second place with an overall record of 23-13 and a conference record of 12-3. Rivals Cortland occupy the top spot with a 26-9 mark overall and a 16-2 conference record.
In the 12 years since Brockport’s last title Cortland has racked up eight championships. However, Brockport is coming off a series victory over Cortland just a few weeks ago. It’s the first time Brockport has knocked off Cortland in a series since 2017, the year before Pastore arrived on campus. The exclamation point in that most recent victory, a three-run blast from Pastore to end the game in a mercy rule win for the Golden Eagles.
“I came up with two outs, first and second and my mindset was just ‘I’m ending this game.’ The second pitch I hit in the air, wind might’ve helped me a bit, and it went over [the fence]. It was a sweet feeling beating them that way,” Pastore said.
With that series victory in the rearview, Brockport will bring some confidence into the SUNYAC Tournament in Cortland starting May 11. Beach believes that one of the biggest hurdles has been cleared now for his team.
“We talked about it’s more of a mental thing,” Beach said. “You know you can beat them; you’ve done it. It’s not like a thing where you’re unsure of it, we can beat those guys if we play well. If you don’t play well though, you can lose to anybody. So, it’s just a matter of consistency and guys bringing the same effort every day. Hopefully we’ve learned that you can’t take any team for granted and just compete and wherever you end up at the end of the day at least you can say you put it all out there.”
While Pastore’s name is already etched in history, one more challenge awaits him. If he can lead Brockport baseball into the record books it would be the finishing touch on an unmatched legacy.