April 29, 2017

Cortland Completes Sweep of Skidmore With Extra-Inning Thriller

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CORTLAND, N.Y. - Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) threw out the potential go-ahead run from center field in the top of the eighth and drove home the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth in the seven-inning nightcap as Cortland completed a doubleheader sweep with a 5-4 win over Skidmore. The nationally eighth-ranked Red Dragons (32-7) won the nine-inning opener, 7-4, in the first-ever meeting between the schools.

Cortland will conclude its regular-season schedule at home Sunday at 2 p.m. versus SUNY Canton in a single contest.

Cortland 7, Skidmore 4

Jack Massa (Shoreham/Shoreham-Wading River) finished 3-for-5 with a homer, double, two RBI and two runs to lead Cortland's 12-hit attack. Nate Budge (Central Square/Paul V. Moore) was 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI, Paul Dondero (East Islip) was 2-for-5 with a triple, RBI and three runs scored, and Steven Figueroa (Bronx/St. Raymond's) went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Payten Boice (Homer) earned the win with four and a third innings of four-hit ball out of the bullpen. He struck out five, walked one, and allowed one run. Jesse Winters (South Glens Falls/Saratoga Central Catholic), the last of Cortland's three relievers, allowed one hit and did not allow any runs over the final inning and a third for his first save of the season.

Skidmore starter Spencer Anderson gave up nine hits and seven runs, five earned, in six and a third innings. Daniel Dasgupta, Josh Brown and Mike Fogarty each finished 2-for-4.

Cortland trailed 4-3 before taking the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Budge singled home the tying run, and the go-ahead run scored on a balk with two outs and the bases loaded. The Red Dragons added a run without a hit in the sixth on an error, a Joe Tardif (Cutchogue/Mattituck) sac bunt, a groundout and a wild pitch. Massa's leadoff homer in the seventh created the final margin.

The Red Dragons led 1-0 in the first on a Massa RBI double, but the Thoroughbreds tied it on a Steven Gilbert RBI single in the second and took a 3-1 lead in the third on Mat Marino's leadoff homer and Shankar Mani's two-out RBI single.

Cortland knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third. Figueroa singled and scored on a Dondero triple, and Patrick Schetter's (Beacon) groundout two batters later drove home Dondero. Skidmore grabbed its final lead in the fourth on a two-out RBI ground-rule double by Pat Geiger.

Cortland caught a break on the play as another run likely would have scored if the ball hadn't bounced over the fence in left center. Boice struck out the next batter to keep Cortland within a run.

Cortland 5, Skidmore 4 (8 inn.)

Cortland broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Skidmore scored once in the sixth and tied the game with a three-run rally in the seventh. The guests then threatened to take the lead in the first extra inning when Nick Fronte led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Strickland lined a single to center, but Fronte was thrown out in a close play at the plate on a throw from BeVard.

Anthony Visconte (East Islip) entered two batters later with runners on first and second and struck out both batters he faced to end the inning. He earned the win when Cortland won the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Justin Teague (North Syracuse/Cicero-North Syracuse), who finished 3-for-3 with a sac bunt in four plate appearances, led off with a single up the middle. Pinch runner Tardif moved to second on a Sean Getman (Oneonta) sac bunt. Matthew Personius (Binghamton/Chenango Valley) walked and Ralph Nuzzi (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) reached on an infield single to load the bases. BeVard then hit a liner to right, and Tardif was able to avoid tag on a throw just up the third base line and touch home with the winning run.

Cortland's four-run fifth started with a Schetter single and a one-out Budge single. Pinch runner Nuzzi stole third, and a Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) grounder to short drove home a run. Budge was safe at second on the play due to an error. A wild pickoff throw to first allowed Budge to score and Perivolaris to go to third. Figueroa walked and eventually stole second, and with two outs Teague hit a shot that took a bad hop over the first baseman's head for a two-run double.

Fogarty hit a solo homer with one out in the sixth to put Skidmore on the board. In the seventh, the Thoroughbreds sent nine batters to the plate while tying the game. Brown singled home two runs with two outs, and two batters later Shawn Klier completed a 4-for-4 day with a game-tying RBI single up the middle. Dylan Powers (Moravia) entered to pitch later in the frame with the bases loaded and induced a grounder to third for a force out to keep the game tied.

Teague was one of three Red Dragons to record multiple hits with his 3-for-3 effort as Personius and Budge each were 2-for-3. Mike Harrington (Glens Falls) started and allowed one run on five hits in five and a third innings. He fanned two and walked two.

Along with Klier's 4-for-4 game, Strickland went 2-for-3 with a walk and Fronte and Fogarty were each 2-for-4 for Skidmore (10-20).