Oswego State baseball team falls in championship game

CORTLAND, NY – The Oswego State baseball team (25-14) struggled to get anything going offensively, while nationally third-ranked Cortland (34-9) pounded out 19 hits, as the Lakers lost, 16-1, in the State University of New York Athletic Conference Baseball Championship game Sunday afternoon in Cortland.

The contest marked the Lakers’ first SUNYAC Championship game appearance since 2001 when they lost to the Red Dragons, 16-5. Brian Hamilton (So., Liverpool, N.Y.), Andrew Lazzaro (Sr., Oswego, N.Y.) and Mike McMullen (Jr., Syracuse, N.Y.) were named to the SUNYAC All-Tournament Team.

After a scoreless first inning, Cortland’s Brian Barry and Donny Castaldo hit back-to-back solo home runs to left field with two outs in the second to give the Red Dragons an early 2-0 lead.

The Lakers got two runners on in the fourth inning with two outs, but the next batter hit a dribbler to the first baseman to end the frame.

A leadoff Cortland single and an Oswego State error on the sacrifice bunt put runners on the corners with no outs in the fourth. Thor Miller (Jr., Miller Place, N.Y.) got the first out of the inning with a strikeout, but Barry hit a deep fly ball to right field for the sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0.

The Red Dragons blew the game open in the fifth after Bryan Mistretta was hit by a pitch and Zack Graczyk hit a liner into center field to start the frame. After a sacrifice fly, SUNYAC Tournament MVP Max Rosing delivered a two-RBI single and scored after P.J. Rinaldi hit a two-run shot over the left field fence. By the end of the inning, Cortland held a 9-0 advantage.

Scott Buniak (Jr., Clifton Park, N.Y.) tried to get something rolling for Oswego State with two outs in the sixth when he legged out a triple that went into the gap in right. The gamble paid off as McMullen ripped a single up the middle to put the Lakers on the board. However, Cortland responded with four more runs though in the sixth, as the lead swelled to 13-1.

The Red Dragons plated three more in the eighth to make the final score, 16-1.

Thor Miller suffered the loss after allowing seven earned runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings. James McKenna (Jr., Bohemia, N.Y.) tossed 2.2 innings in relief giving up five earned runs after giving up seven hits. Josh Martin (Fr., Little Falls, N.Y.) and Dylan Kohlman (So., Vestal, N.Y.) pitched the final inning.

Cortland’s Mike Hughes tossed seven innings, scattering six hits and one earned run to go along with four strikeouts and one walk.

Oswego State will play two more home games on Wednesday against Utica starting at 3 p.m.