Andrew Dawson, Staff Writer |
SUNY Oneonta’s baseball team battled SUNY Cortland in a doubleheader on Thursday, Apr. 8. Both games were played at the Red Dragon Baseball Field and Oneonta was looking to improve on their impressive 7-1 record.
This was an important series for Oneonta as they tried to prove themselves as a powerhouse team against their archrivals. Cortland also had a great start to the season, having a 7-3 record and a two-game winning streak prior to this showdown. Oneonta’s Red Dragons were looking to break Cortland’s winning streak and continue the best start to their season since 2010. However, game one didn’t go as planned for the Red Dragons.
After having a scoreless first, Cortland took first blood in the top of the second inning. Cortland’s Ben Rhoades led off the inning, tripling to deep left-centerfield. Oneonta’s starting pitcher, senior Michael Dunne, was able to retire the next batter after he hit a ground ball back to the pitcher’s mound. Dunne proceeded to walk the next two batters, having the bases loaded with only one out. Then Cortland’s Matthew Krafft singled into centerfield, scoring two runners and giving Cortland the lead. Cortland continued to score as their next batter, Scott Giordano hit a three-run home run to extend their lead to 5-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, Dunne retired one batter and gave up a lead-off double, forcing Oneonta to make a pitching change. Sophomore Logan Carriero was the next player to pitch for Oneonta, hoping to lessen the damage with a runner in scoring position. Carriero recorded the second out of the inning via a ground ball to shortstop. When it looked like Oneonta would get out of the inning without giving up a run, Carriero walked the next batter, making things more complicated for the Red Dragons. Carriero proceeded to hit the next three batters, giving up two runs. Then Cortland scored three more runs after Mat Bruno hit a bases clearing double. Cortland tacked on three more runs later in the inning, extending their lead 13-0.
Oneonta’s only run came in the seventh inning. Sophomore Jake Barrett reached first base safely after Cortland’s shortstop made a fielding error. Barrett advanced to second and third base after Cortland’s pitcher overthrew the catcher on a poorly thrown pitch. Junior Matthew McAllister generated the only run for Oneonta after hitting a double down the left field line, scoring Barrett.
Cortland scored their final run in the eighth inning winning the game 14-1. While this was a brutal loss for the Red Dragons, they looked to bounce back and win the second game of the series.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Cortland jumped out to an early two-run lead in the top of the first inning. When it looked like game two would replicate the first game of the series, Oneonta battled back in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Sean McGlynn recorded a walk and proceeded to steal second base. With McGlynn in scoring position, junior James Zupo headed to the plate. Zupo belted a ball to deep left-centerfield, scoring McGlynn.
Cortland entered the fifth inning with a 4-1 after scoring two more runs in the top of the third inning. Cortland’s Ben Rhoades led off the inning and hit a double down the right field foul line. The next batter hit a sacrifice bunt but advanced to second base after Oneonta’s starting pitcher, senior Zachary Vavasour, overthrew first base. Rhoades scored on the untimely error which extended their lead 5-1. However, Cortland wasn’t done there as they scored one more run after Bruno squeezed a ground ball between the shortstop and the third basemen.
Oneonta answered back in the fifth inning by scoring three runs of their own. With runners on second and third, sophomore Liam Kaseta reached base safely as Cortland’s pitcher overthrew the first baseman. Later in the inning, McGlynn came up to bat singled to left-field, scoring an additional run. Then, senior James Ceparano hit a line drive to right-field. The outfielder made the catch but the runner from third still scored 6-4. Oneonta started to inch closer with the final innings looming.
The Red Dragons couldn’t score any more runs and lost the game 9-4 after Cortland scored three insurance runs in the final inning of the game. While these were devastating losses for the Red Dragons, Oneonta can return the favor when they play Cortland in another doubleheader on Apr. 27.