ONEONTA, N.Y. – A hot-hitting freshman drove in the winning run in its final at-bat, as the Oswego State (8-11, 1-2 SUNYAC) baseball team equaled its conference win total from last season with a 6-5 victory in game one of a doubleheader at Oneonta.
The Red Dragons (10-9, 3-3) scored four quick runs in the first inning of game two and held on for a 5-4 win, forcing the split.
Freshman John Rauseo (Mattituck, N.Y.) went a combined seven-for-eight at the plate with four runs scored and two RBI as the Laker lead-off hitter, but it was actually a bases-loaded walk in the top of the seventh that earned Rauseo the game-winning RBI.
Down 5-4 in the top of the seventh in game one, the Lakers drew three walks to load the bases with just one out. Steve Roman (Sr., Middletown, N.Y.) did his job, tying the game when he grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring David Mazzullo (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.).
Tyler Baker (So., Hannibal, N.Y.) drew yet another walk to load the bases again before the Dragons brought in a new pitcher. The results were the same though as Rauseo drew the fifth walk of the inning to put the Lakers up 6-5.
A lineout ended Oswego State’s half of the inning, but Mark Schaper (Sr., Warwick, N.Y.) retired the first two Oneonta batters in the bottom of the seventh and then struck out a pinch hitter with a runner on first to earn his fourth save of the season.
The drama began building when the Lakers took a 1-0 lead in the game in top of the first when Rauseo singled and came all the way around to score when he stole second and a bad throw allowed him to keep running.
The Dragons tied the game in the bottom of the first with three hits off Oswego State starter Dan Erne (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.).
However, the Lakers took the lead back in the top of the fourth when Alex Jurczynski (Jr., Schenectady, N.Y.) doubled with one out and scored with two outs on a wild pitch.
Rauseo doubled to start the fifth and scored on a single by Mazzullo to put Oswego State up 3-1, but Oneonta plated four runs on four hits and an error to take its first lead of the game.
Andrew Lazzaro (Jr., Oswego, N.Y.) sparked a rally in the sixth inning with a lead-off single, which later led to Rauseo plating Roman with a sacrfice fly. The Lakers left two runners on in the sixth, but got the rest of the job done in the seventh to earn the win.
Erne pitched into the fifth with two strikeouts and two walks, while Adam Bishop (Jr., Camillus, N.Y.) was credited with the win with one strikeout in one and one-third innings pitched.
In game two, the Red Dragons scored four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first and forced the Lakers to try and play catch-up.
Oswego State’s Ed Charles (Jr., Auburn, N.Y.) reached on an error to start the third inning. That set the table for back-to-back singles by Rauseo and Mike Stark (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.). Stark picked up an RBI with his hit, while another Dragon error cut the lead to 4-2.
Oneonta added a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Lakers were able to close the gap in the seventh and eighth innings.
Rauseo doubled and scored on a two-out double by Scott Buniak (So., Clifton Park, N.Y.) in the seventh, while Jurcyznski blasted a home run over the left field fence to cut the lead to 5-4 in the eighth.
Rauseo led off the ninth inning with a single and was bunted over to second, but he would be stranded, earning the Dragons the win in game two.
Schaper took the loss with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings, while Rauseo led the offense with four hits. Brian Hamilton (Fr., Liverpool, N.Y.) and Jurczynski each had two hits as well.
The Lakers have a busy week scheduled on their home field to open up April. The Lakers host single games at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday along with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday.