McNamara Does it All for Marist and Ireland

Marist men’s baseball pitcher Conor McNamara finds excitement in his new role with the team and his past and upcoming experiences with the Irish National Team.

conor mcnamara

“I have a connection with the Irish team,” said McNamara. “He knew me and brought me in for a quick bullpen and threw on camera for them. They sent it over to the Irish guys and that was it.”

The pitcher found himself a spot in the bullpen on the Irish National Team. They are playing for a qualifying spot in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

The World Baseball Classic is an international tournament that is similar to the World Cup for the world of soccer. It involves 16 teams that are selected through a lengthy qualification process. McNamara has the chance to reach the big stage with his national team and play in one of baseball’s most coveted tournaments. He sees optimism with his national team and hopes to reach the coveted World Baseball Classic with his teammates from Ireland.

“We’re looking to qualify for the World Baseball Classic if we win this next upcoming tournament,” said McNamara. “It’s exciting.”

McNamara saw his role switch this season from starting pitcher to reliever and has since embraced the new role. He is pitching nearly every game rather than starting once every few days. He has garnished in the excitement of the tougher aspects of being thrown into a game.

“So far, it’s been different,” said McNamara. “I enjoy it. I enjoy the high energy and coming in with guys on base in a tight spot.”

McNamara sees more intensity in his new position in the bullpen. The transition from earlier innings to later ones is one that he realizes brings higher significance to his outings.

“It’s more of the high leverage innings,” said the 20-year old. “You’re only out there for a short period of time so you kind of have to make the most of it. You have less room for error. Every pitch is a high-pressure pitch, that’s the biggest thing.”

conor mcnamara2

A change in scenery has been nothing for Conor McNamara. He has a steadily declining 4.74 ERA and has been a key piece to the Marist bullpen throughout the season. McNamara started the season with five shutouts coming out of the bullpen until a rough six run outing against Eastern Carolina University. A dominant 4.2 inning outing against Monmouth on April 6 showed the dominance that McNamara can bring, striking out seven Hawks on Marist’s way to the victory.

Between the two squads, McNamara continues to prove his worth and show his versatility, something that will get you far in the world of baseball. For now, Conor’s focus is with Marist. The Red Foxes are 7-5 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with hopes to repeat the history of the 2017 team that went on to win the conference.

“We know what we want to do and we’re just taking it one game at a time,” said McNamara. “We think we can do it with the team we have and we’re gonna give every team we face all we’ve got.”

Advertisements

Jessica Luther Brings Sports and Accountability to Crossroads

Marist welcomed freelance journalist Jessica Luther to campus last Tuesday night to discuss her groundbreaking discoveries on the Baylor football scandal.

jessicaluther1

“There was nothing reported about the story when I got the tip,” said Luther.

Baylor University received a lawsuit from a graduate back in 2017 that included allegations against 31 Baylor football players for 52 separate accounts of rape between 2011 and 2014. The graduate included that she, herself, was also a victim of these allegations back in 2013. Jessica Luther was aware of many of these allegations well before when it went public back in 2017.

“I was tipped that a Baylor football player was going to trial for sexual assault in 2013,” said Luther.

According to Luther, the player had been previously dismissed at Boise State before transferring into Baylor. Those who knew the player at his former school warned Baylor about his past behavior.

“The athletic directors at Boise were very worried that he was going to hurt others,” said Luther. “Three months into his sitting year, his girlfriend reported him to the school and to the Waco Police Department. He was indicted the following summer.”

Recently, Baylor football standout defensive end Shawn Oakman was found not guilty on charges of sexual assault on February 28, 2019. Prior to these allegations, plenty of early mock drafts had Oakman projected as a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Luther contributed the lack of coverage from media and advocacy from the fanbase on the matter towards the religious roots that Baylor sits upon.

“Baylor is the largest Baptist university in the world,” said Luther. “The Christian underpinnings of Baylor made it hard to discuss things like this.”

If you go to Baylor’s website, you can easily find their mission which can attest to some of these Christian underpinnings that Luther was getting at. The mission states, “Baylor’s mission is to educate students for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment in a caring community.”

jessicaluther2

Luther is known in the sports world as a top tier investigative reporter where the lines between sports and accountability tend to blur. Her detailed and lengthy coverage of this scandal is something that gave her the national recognition that she has today. She received the Halberstam Award for “sticking it to power” on the scandal along with her business partner Dan Solomon.

She now has a weekly independent feminist sports podcast called “Burn It All Down” that brings an alternative perspective to sports coverage through the female eye.

Once the story finally found its light in the media, the trickle effect immediately took place. By 2016, head football coach Art Briles had his contract terminated and Baylor University President Ken Starr resigned due to the backlash. Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford was forced to resign as well. Jessica Luther points out her key emphasis when her reporting can create a domino effect like this one.

“I don’t want to defame,” said Luther. “I want to be as fair as I can possibly be with the information that I’ve been given.”

 

Funk Leads Marist to Tenth Win

Marist got funky on Friday night with their tenth win of the season in a 79-58 victory led by a dominant performance from senior Ryan Funk.

Coming off a big road win over Canisius in overtime, Marist was looking to keep the momentum against a Niagara team that was hoping to rebound back to .500 after a tough home loss to Quinnipiac. Chris Casey’s squad never really looked comfortable at any point in the game, allowing a mirage of backdoor cuts and easy layups for Marist on the defensive end.

 

Marist started the game off red hot from three with Ryan Funk leading the way and never looked back. The senior came alive off the bench and tallied 27 points while tying a season high in three pointers with 7. His first miss from the field wouldn’t come until more than 15 minutes into the first half. “When we’re moving the ball around, it really helps me get open,” Funk said following his big outing. His teammates soon joined in as the Red Foxes went on to hit 14 shots from deep and shoot 59.6% from the field. “When Ryan shoots the ball like that, we’re tough to beat,” said head coach John Dunne.

It wasn’t all shooting that led to the victory as the Red Foxes combined for 21 assists on the night. Marist’s 21 assists compared to only 7 converted by Niagara soon became a focal point in the game. Coming off a 17-point outburst against Canisius, Aleksander Dozic was an unexpected playmaker for Marist as he dished out 7 assists to go along with 11 points and 7 rebounds in the win. “I’m really proud of the effort,” Dunne said. “Offensively, I thought we were extremely unselfish.”

McCann Athletics

After seeing very little action during the second half of his last outing, leading scorer Brian Parker scored only 8 points and continued to see his minutes dwindle as he only played in 21 minutes in the win. The senior is averaging 28.6 minutes per game, the team’s highest so far this season.

Fans in attendance were thoroughly pleased with the performance from the team. A great atmosphere from the supporters helped create the backing that Marist needed to get the victory.

“The atmosphere was contagious and you could tell the guys fed off of it,” said Tom Martinelli, a fan in attendance. “It was a sight to behold and everyone seemed like they were having a blast.”

The students also expressed their delight in the win. The band, cheerleaders, and dance team all helped energize the crowd throughout the rout.

“It was really awesome to see them play as such a team and to watch Ryan play the way he did,” said junior John Sasso, a student in attendance. “A performance like that is all you can ask for as a fan coming to these games.”

The Red Foxes will be looking for revenge next Friday as they travel to Quinnipiac to take on MAAC leading scorer Cameron Young and the Bobcats.

After the game, Funk wanted anything but to make it about himself. “I feel like we’re getting better,” the senior said. “I’m happiest to do this in front of the fans