CORTLAND, N.Y. – Pinch hitter Tim Smith (Jr., Auburn, N.Y.) delivered a first-pitch, two-RBI single and scored in the bottom of the ninth, as the Oswego State baseball team (25-14) stunned Fredonia (19-16), 9-8, in an elimination game at the SUNYAC Baseball Championship on Saturday.
The Lakers lost their first game of the day to third-ranked Cortland (33-9), 8-3, but will face the Red Dragons in a rematch at noon on Sunday. The game will be covered live by WNYO 88.9 FM.
In Saturday’s first game, Oswego State loaded the bases after singles from Scott Buniak (Jr., Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Mike McMullen (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) and a Tim Smith walk. Brian Hamilton (So., Liverpool, N.Y.) laced a double into the gap in left center field to clear the bases, as the Lakers took a 3-0 lead.
Cortland responded with three straight hits of its own when Max Rosing produced a two-run single to pull the Red Dragons within one run.
The visitors clung to the 3-2 lead until Rosing hit a ground rule double into right center field to score a pair of Red Dragons to give Cortland its first lead of the game at 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth. He later scored following a bunt single and a sacrifice fly, as the Red Dragons ended the frame ahead, 5-3.
Another home sacrifice fly two innings later pushed the lead to three runs before Cortland plated two more runs in the eighth to make the score, 8-3.
Buniak, McMullen and Hamilton tallied two hits each to account for six of Oswego State’s seven hits. Bryan Mistretta paced Cortland, going 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Rosing went 2-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored.
Adam Bishop (Sr., Camillus, N.Y.) gave up six earned runs on ten hits over six innings to suffer the loss. Pat Brown (Jr., Liverpool, N.Y.) surrendered two runs on one hit in 1.1 innings, while Jordan Giller (Fr., Toronto, Ontario) did not give up a hit or a run in the two-thirds of an inning. Cortland’s Kyle Barkley recorded the win after allowing three earned runs on six hits and four walks in 7.2 innings.
In the afternoon’s elimination game, Fredonia dealt the first blow when Conner Lorenzo hit a two-run single up the middle with two outs in the second inning.
The Lakers got a run back in the third after McMullen’s sac fly drove in Tyler Baker (Jr., Hannibal, N.Y.), who drew a leadoff walk. Oswego State took the lead in the fourth when a Dan Karleski (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) fielder’s choice plated Andrew Lazzaro (Sr., Oswego, N.Y.) and a Baker single drove in Kyle Liner (So., Milford, N.Y.).
In the fifth, Ed Charles (Sr., Auburn, N.Y.) ripped a two-out double to left center field to bring in Lazzaro to make the score, 4-2.
Fredonia stopped the Laker scoring streak in the top of the sixth when Dillon Lowe hit a leadoff solo home run. However, Oswego State countered with two more runs in the sixth when Lazzaro delivered a clutch single that brought in Buniak and Mike Stark (Sr., Rochester, N.Y.), as the lead swelled to three runs.
The Blue Devils had a response of their own, scoring four unearned runs in the seventh on four hits and two errors to grab a 7-6 lead.
After a 1-2-3 seventh inning, Buniak reached in the eighth after being hit by a pitch and advanced to second following a failed pickoff attempt. Hamilton hit two-out single through the left side, but Buniak was gunned down at home plate by John Bennett.
Lazzaro led off the bottom of the ninth with a double into right field followed by Liner getting hit by a pitch. Both runners moved into scoring position after Charles successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt. Pinch hitter Tim Smith ripped the first pitch he saw into right center to drive in Lazzaro and John Rauseo (So., Mattituck, N.Y.), as Oswego State tied the game at eight. Baker, then, roped a single into right field that brought Smith in all the way for first for the walk-off run.
Laker reliever Ryan Donovan (Jr., Utica, N.Y.) picked up the win after allowing one run on two hits in the final 1.2 innings. Starter Jon Stevens (Sr., Chittenango, N.Y.) got the no-decision after giving up three earned runs on six hits in six innings. Miles Kelly (Fr., Clifton Park, N.Y.) and Cody LaFlamme (Fr., Eagle Bridge, N.Y.) each pitched 0.2 innings.
Zachary Hugg recorded the loss after surrendering three earned runs in the last 2.1 innings. Starter Zachary Jordon allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings for a no-decision.