NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The nationally sixth-ranked Cortland baseball team extended its lead in the SUNYAC with a doubleheader sweep at New Paltz. The Red Dragons won the seven-inning opener, 4-1, behind a Patrick Merryweather (Baldwinsville/C.W. Baker) four-hitter, and held off the Hawks in the nine-inning second game, 6-4, behind a strong relief outing from Billy Goncalves (Manorville/Eastport-South Manor).
Cortland (28-5) leads the SUNYAC with a 13-2 league record. Oswego is second at 10-2, and Cortland plays its final three regular-season conference games versus the Lakers at Wallace Field next Friday and Saturday.
Cortland 4, New Paltz 1
Merryweather improved to 4-1 after allowing four hits, one walk and one run over seven innings. He struck out four batters. New Paltz starter Justin Stybel also went the distance and allowed four runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Cortland scored all four of its runs in the top of the fourth. Patrick Schetter (Beacon), who finished the game 2-for-3, led off with a double and went to third on a wild pitch. With one out, pinch hitter Matthew Personius (Binghamton/Chenango Valley) was intentionally walked. Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) hit a single to right to score Schetter, and Matt Michalski (Buffalo/St. Francis) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Steven Figueroa (Bronx/St. Raymond's) singled in two runs to extend the lead to 3-0, and Paul Dondero's (East Islip) fielder's choice drove in the final run.
New Paltz threatened in the second versus Merryweather with runners on second and third and one out, but a lineout double play ended the inning. The Hawks got on the board in the fifth on a one-out single by Savino Citriniti, a Danny Campbell double, and an Anthony Amoroso RBI groundout. The Amoroso groundout was the first of eight straight batters retired by Merryweather to end the game.
Cortland 6, New Paltz 4
The Red Dragons once again recorded a four-run inning on the way to the victory. New Paltz (12-12, 5-7 SUNYAC) led 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Chris Moran doubled home a run, but Cortland took a 4-1 lead in the top of the third. Figueroa singled in a run, followed two batters later by a Jack Massa (Shoreham/Shoreham-Wading River) bases-loaded walk. Schetter complete the rally with a two-run single up the middle. Cortland's lead grew to 5-1 in the top of the fifth on a two-out error with the bases loaded.
Andrew Barnes (Rochester, NH/Spaulding) started for Cortland and pitched into the fifth inning before being pulled after issuing a pair of one-out walks. New Paltz's Nick DePietro then hit a three-run homer off of Payten Boice (Homer) to pull the Hawks within 5-4.
Goncalves entered with two outs in the fifth and induced a groundout with a runner on first. He pitched the final four innings and allowed no runs on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He was officially ruled the winner as Cortland's most effective reliever, since Barnes did not pitch the required five inning to earn the win as the starter. Goncalves is 1-0 on the season.
Cortland registered an insurance run in the sixth. Figueroa walked, stole second, moved to third on a Dondero infield single, and scored on Massa's sacrifice fly to center.
Nate Budge (Central Square/Paul V. Moore) finished 2-for-4 and Justin Teague (North Syracuse/Cicero-North Syracuse) was 2-for-5 for Cortland. Massa went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
New Paltz starter James Magnuson allowed five runs, four earned, in five innings. He gave up six hits, walked four, and struck out five. DePietro finished 1-for-3 with a homer, two walks, three RBI and two runs scored.