WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Plattsburgh State baseball team allowed four late runs in an 8-4 loss against the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at the Chain of Lakes Field on Monday. The Cardinals are 2-2 on the season, while the Trailblazers move to 3-2. Monday's game was a nine-inning affair.
Plattsburgh State senior T.J. Montalbano (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West/Jefferson CC) doubled, walked, stole a base, scored a run and drove in a run as part of a 2-for-2 day, while sophomore Jon Craft (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) singled, walked, stole a base and scored a run. Freshmen Stephen Bryant (Center Moriches, N.Y./Center Moriches) and Kentaro Mori (Tokyo, Japan/Joto) both had RBI doubles. Freshman Santino Ycaza (Mastic, N.Y./Brentwood Sonderling) provided an RBI single for his first collegiate hit and classmate Alex Follmer (Plattsburgh, N.Y./Plattsburgh) stole a base. As the second of five Cardinal pitchers, freshman reliever Brantley Marion (Plattsburgh, N.Y./Beekmantown Central) took the loss after surrendering two runs on five hits in five innings in his collegiate debut.
MCLA junior Joe DiMassimo contributed a solo home run and a sacrifice fly, while classmate Brett LaBonte had a two-run single and a walk. Freshman Schamal Forbes chipped in two hits, scored two runs and stole a base. The final three relievers combined to throw four scoreless innings, including winning pitcher sophomore Bobby New, who tossed 1.1 hitless frames with three strikeouts to earn the win.
Down 4-0 midway through the third inning, Plattsburgh State rallied with two runs in the bottom of the third and fifth innings to knot up the score. Bryant's RBI double and Montalbano's bases-loaded walk both came with two outs in the third. Mori laced a two-out RBI double and Ycaza followed with an RBI single in the fifth. MCLA freshman Christian Seariac started the seventh with a single and then advanced to second on a sac bunt before LaBonte was intentionally walked to create a force play. The Trailblazers then grounded out in back-to-back plays to end the half inning.
Tied at 4-4 after seven innings, DiMassimo slugged a solo home run to start the eighth as the Trailblazers regained the lead. LaBonte lined a two-out, two-run single as MCLA stretched its lead to 7-4. Freshman Joe Toledo added an RBI double in the ninth for MCLA's eighth and final run. In the bottom of the ninth, MCLA freshman pitcher Austin Miller struck out the side to end the game.
Plattsburgh State is back in action with two games tomorrow, beginning with Greenville College at 9:30 a.m. in Auburndale and then with Keene State College at 2 p.m. in Lakeland. Greenville was a finalist in last year's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Championship tournament.