Cortland Battles Cold and Snow to Sweep Fredonia

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CORTLAND, N.Y. - The Cortland baseball team battled the cold and on-and-off snow to sweep visiting Fredonia in a SUNYAC doubleheader. The Red Dragons on the nine-inning opener, 6-1, and the seven-inning second game, 11-3.

The teams will meet again Monday at 1 p.m. (time change from a previous announcement) at Wallace Field.

Cortland, ranked 10th nationally in Division III, has won 11 straight games and is now 19-6 overall and 10-1 in league play. Fredonia, which was playing for the first time since March 17, is 10-6 overall and 1-4 in the SUNYAC.

Cortland 6, Fredonia 1

Cortland struck for three runs in the bottom of the first and held off a handful of Fredonia scoring chances to earn the victory. Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) singled with one out in the first and Justin Teague (North Syracuse/Cicero-North Syracuse) was hit by a pitch. Patrick Schetter (Beacon) singled to drive in BeVard and Matthew Personius (Binghamton/Chenango Valley) hit a two-run single up the middle.

Fredonia left a runner on third with one out in the top of the first after a Patrick Sheehan triple, and the Blue Devils had the bases loaded with one out in the second before a fielder's choice force at home and a strikeout ended the threat. Fredonia put up a run in the fourth when Kevin Yirinek walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on an error after a Joseph Coene infield single.

Fredonia starter Luke Kuczewski retired 11 straight batters after allowing the Personius two-run single in the first. The Red Dragons, however, fashioned a two-run fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead. Joe Tardif (Cutchogue/Mattituck) led off with a single and went to third on a failed pickoff play. Antonio Pragana (Hopewell Junction/John Jay) was hit by a pitch with one out, and BeVard and Teague registered back-to-back RBI singles.

BeVard finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and Tardif was 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Cortland added a run in the sixth on Paul Dondero's (East Islip) two-out RBI bunt single. Kuczewski, now 3-1, gave up six runs, five earned, on seven hits with one strikeout and one walk in six innings. Nicholas Lawlor allowed only two walks and struck out one over two scoreless innings of relief.

Christian Dufresne (Cocoa, FL/Space Coast) started for Cortland and went three innings plus two batters into the fourth. He gave up two hits and one run with five strikeouts and four walks. Steven Salisbury (Cranston, RI/Moses Brown) earned the win in the relief with three and two thirds innings of one-hit scoreless ball. He fanned three and walked four and is now 3-0 on the season.

Jarrod Bellinger (Watertown) entered in the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs and recorded a strikeout to end the inning. He also retired the side in order in the eighth and got the first out of the ninth before issuing a walk and a hit-by-pitch. At that point, the game was delayed for 16 minutes due to snowfall that made it almost impossible to see the outfielders from the home plate area. After the delay, Kyle Naugle (Fayetteville/Jamesville-DeWitt) entered after the delay and got the first batter he faced to hit into a game-ending double play.

Cortland 11, Fredonia 3

Cortland scored 10 runs on 12 hits over the first four innings on the way to a convincing victory to complete the sweep. Mike Harrington (Glens Falls) upped his record to 5-0 after permitting five hits and two runs over five innings with two strikeouts and no walks. Noah Ernst (Catskill/Homeschooled) gave up three hits, one walk and one unearned run over the final two innings.

Cortland scored two in the first on a Teague RBI groundout and a Danny Coleman (Saratoga Springs) RBI single. An error to start the second led to four unearned runs. Pragana, Teague and Schetter each singled home runs, with another run scoring when BeVard scored all the way from second on a wild pitch.

Billy Kozak's (Sidney) sacrifice fly and Teague's RBI single extended the lead to 8-0 in the third. Fredonia pushed across two runs in the fourth on singles by Sheehan and J.T. Angora, an RBI single by Daniel Goodbread, and a Yirinek sac fly.

Tardif hit a two-run double with two outs in the fourth to put Cortland ahead 10-2, and the Red Dragons added a run on a throwing error in the fifth. Fredonia closed the scoring in the seventh and final inning with a Brian Chatt RBI single.

Pragana went 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored before giving way to Tardif, who finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Teague was 2-for-3 with three RBI and Schetter went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Frank Vesuvio (Armonk/Byram Hills) walked twice and scored three runs.

Eight different players registered one hit each for Fredonia, led by Chatt at 1-for-1 and Goodbread, Matt Kellner and Joshua Crocetti each at 1 for-2. Bailey Gauthier took the loss for the Blue Devils after allowing six runs, two earned, in two innings. He was touched for six hits and a walk and struck out two.