OSWEGO, N.Y. – Honoring its nine seniors before the game, the Oswego State baseball team (15-12, 8-6 SUNYAC) made a huge playoff push with 7-5 and 10-5 victories over Fredonia (16-10, 7-7). The Lakers solely occupy third place in the SUNYAC standings with four conference games left. With one more conference win and a loss by Oneonta, Oswego State clinches a berth in the SUNYAC Tournament for the first time since 2001.
Fredonia got on the scoreboard first in game one, scoring the first earned run on Oswego State starter Dan Erne (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.) in 27 innings. The Lakers then added seven unanswered runs over the next six innings. In the third, Mike McMullen (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) doubled home Tim Smith (Jr., Auburn, N.Y.) and a single by Alex Jurczynski (Sr., Schenectady, N.Y.) brought home McMullen and Brian Hamilton (So. Liverpool, N.Y.). In the fifth, Hamilton’s squeeze bunt plated Mike Stark (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.).
A single by Hamilton in the seventh once again scored Stark to make the score, 5-1. Jurczynski and Andrew Lazzaro (Sr., Oswego, N.Y.) scored on a pair of wild pitches to take a 7-1 lead. The Blue Devils threatened in the top of the ninth scoring four runs, but it was not enough to erase the deficit.
Stark and Hamilton led the Lakers with two hits apiece in the game. Erne improved to 4-1 on the year, pitching seven innings and allowing just one earned run on five hits, while lowering his season ERA to 1.64.
Oswego State tallied one run to open the second contest after a McMullen sacrifice fly scored Stark. Fredonia added runs in the second and third off of Laker starter James McKenna (Jr., Bohemia, N.Y.). The Lakers took the lead again in the fourth when a Michael Mascari single (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) brought home Scott Buniak (Jr., Clifton Park, N.Y.), and Tyler Baker (Jr., Hannibal, N.Y.) doubled in Mascari and Dan Karleski (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) for the go-ahead runs.
The Blue Devils tallied a run in the fifth to pull within one before the Oswego State bats exploded again the bottom half of the frame. Buniak started the scoring in the inning, singling home Jordan Giller (Fr., Toronto, Ontario). Baker, then, ripped a 0-2 pitch up the middle, clearing the bases with the help of a throwing error to bring home Jurczynski, Buniak, and Karleski. Buniak drove in Giller and Kyle Liner (So., Milford, N.Y.) on a triple to left center field for a 10-3 Laker lead. Fredonia plated two runs in the top of the seventh to make for a 10-5 final score.
At the plate, Stark collected two hits in three at-bats with a run, Buniak went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and Baker had two hits in three at-bats and a career-high four RBI. McKenna went to 3-2 on the season in the win, giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits.
Oswego State battles Fredonia in the series finale on Sunday at Laker Baseball Field starting at noon.