BALTIMORE, MD. – Nationally 10th-ranked Cortland scored three times in the top of the eighth and defeated Rutgers-Camden, 4-3, in the opening game of the Baltimore Invitational, hosted by Johns Hopkins.
The game shaped up for more than half the distance as a pitchers' duel between Cortland starter Nick Morena (Holbrook/Sachem North) and Rutgers-Camden starter Ian Scheidemann, a second team All-American last season. Morena allowed no runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts through five innings. Scheidemann gave up just one run on two hits and two walks with six strikeouts over seven frames.
Cortland got a run in the top of the first when Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) led off the game with a triple and scored on a one-out Danny Coleman (Saratoga Springs) sacrifice fly. Camden had a good shot to tie the game in the fifth but had a runner thrown out at home trying to score from second on a single on a relay from left fielder Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) to third baseman Coleman to catcher James Varian (Hopewell Junction/Trinity-Pawling).
The Raptors finally broke through for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 3-1 lead. With one out, Billy Eisler was hit by a pitch and John Guccione hit a game-tying RBI double down the right field line. A fielder's choice on a bunt resulted in an out at third, but R.J. Concepcion hit a two-run homer to right center to put Camden on top.
Cortland's winning rally in the top of the eight started with BeVard drawing a one-out walk. With two outs, pinch hitter Mat Bruno (Rye) hit an RBI double to right center, followed by a game-tying RBI single from Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) and a go-ahead RBI single from Varian.
The Red Dragons got out of Camden's bottom of the eighth with no real issues, but things got interesting in the Raptors' final at-bat in the ninth. Eisley led off with an infield single, was bunted to second by Guccione, and took third on a groundout. Cortland elected to intentionally walk Concepcion, who finished the day 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. Concepcion stole second, prompting another intentional walk to Matthew Stoots to load the bases. Mitchell Cavanagh (Oneida), who pitched the final two and a third innings, struck out the next batter to end the game.
Cavanagh earned the win to improve to 2-0 on the season as he was the pitcher of record when Cortland took the lead in the eighth. He gave up just one hit, struck out two and walked three – two intentionally – and did not allow any runs. Daniel Beebe, Camden's second reliever, suffered the loss after giving up one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout over the final inning and a third.
Camden (0-1) outhit Cortland, 10-5, and each team drew four walks. The Raptors made five errors, but none of Cortland's runs benefitted from those misplays.