Oneonta Baseball Team Overcomes Early Deficit to Beat Utica

SUNY Oneonta Athletics

Casey Ryder, Staff Writer |

On Wednesday, Mar. 30, our Red Dragons came from behind to beat Utica 5-4.

It was the team’s first game following a three-game series with Cortland where they were swept by their arch-rivals and so it was imperative for the team to bounce back.

After both teams failed to bring anyone home in the first two innings, Utica opened the scoring in the top of the third when John Son hit a single to left field which brought home Brendan May from second to put the Utica Pioneers up one.

However, Oneonta responded well in the bottom half. First up for Oneonta was shortstop Nate Guillen who got on first after an error by the Utica first baseman. Guillen then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Noah Frasca who was thrown out at first. On next at-bat, Jake Barrett hit a double to left-center field and Guillen made it home to level the score at one.

But that equalizer from the Red Dragons would only be short-lived as Utica retook the lead in the top of the fourth. First, with runners on the corners, Shamariah McCullough hit a single to bring home Noah Barber from third while Ryan Cardone advanced from first to second. After that, following a Matthew Fitzgerald fly out, Utica went up 3-1 when Zac Cronk hit a single to right field which brought home Cardone from second and advanced McCullough from first to third.

After both teams failed to score in the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth, Oneonta cut the deficit in the bottom of the fifth. Matthew McAllister got on third after a single and an error on a later play from the Utica first baseman. He then advanced home to cut the lead to one when Anthony Gonzalez grounded out to first.

Later in the top of the seventh inning, Utica regained their two-run advantage. Nathan Yantz hit a double to right-center which brought home Joe Battista from first to put the Pioneers up 4-2.

However, in the bottom half of the inning, Oneonta once again cut the lead to one. Sean Liquori stepped up to the plate with runners on the corners after Matthew McAllister was hit by a pitch and Anthony Gonzalez walked with McCallister advancing to third on a Liam Kaseta fly out to right field. Liquori singled to center field which brought home McAllister and made the score 4-3.

Utica failed to capitalize on the runners they had on base in the top of the eighth and in the bottom half of the inning, our Red Dragons mounted a comeback. Oneonta got runners on first and second after Andrew Bonilla walked and Noah Frasca hit a single to left field. Then, Jake Barrett hit a single to left field which brought home Bonilla to tie the game at four while Frasca advanced to second. Following that and a Matthew McAllister pop out to second base, Anthony Gonzalez hit a single to left field bringing home Frasca to put Oneonta up 5-4 heading into the ninth.

In the top of the ninth, Oneonta pitcher Michael Losak came in to close the show. First, he struck out Utica’s Brendan May and after Joe Crossley hit a double down the right foul line, he struck out John Son and Joe Battista to finish the show and give Oneonta the 5-4 win!

The team is currently on the road at SUNY Fredonia for a three-game series happening today and tomorrow. However, the team returns home on Tuesday at 4 p.m. when they face Union at Red Dragon Baseball Field. These are crucial games for the team, and they need your support. Go out and cheer on your Red Dragons!   

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