FREDONIA, N.Y. – James Varian (Hopewell Junction/Trinity-Pawling) went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Zack Durant (Verona/V-V-S) combined with three relievers on a six-hit shutout as Cortland defeated host Fredonia, 9-0, in the first game of a SUNYAC doubleheader. The Red Dragons also won the second, seven-inning game, 7-2, after breaking open a tight game with three runs in the top of the sixth.
Cortland and Fredonia entered the doubleheader tied for first in the SUNYAC standings, each with 6-0 marks. Cortland is now 17-8-1 overall and 8-0 in league play, while the Blue Devils dropped to 9-12 overall and 6-2 in the conference. The teams will conclude their three-game weekend series Sunday at 11 a.m. with a single, nine-inning contest.
Cortland 9, Fredonia 0
Durant allowed six hits over five and a third innings to improve to 5-2 on the season. He struck out eight and walked three. Dan Hobbs (Saratoga Springs) entered in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out and Cortland leading 4-0. He induced a fielder's choice that resulted in a force out at home and then caught a line drive to end the inning. Hobbs also tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning, followed by Liam Krasney (Greenville) giving up just one walk in the eighth and Kyle Naugle (Fayetteville/Jamesville-DeWitt) retiring the side in order in the ninth.
In addition to Varian's three-hit performance, Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) went 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored and Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) was 2-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Brian Corporan (Bronx/H.S. for Environmental Studies) registered a hit, a walk and two runs scored in four plate appearances.
Patrick Bigham led Fredonia's offense by going 2-for-3 with a walk. Luke Kuczewski took the loss with six and two thirds innings on the mound. He gave up 10 hits and eight runs, four earned, walked four and struck out eight.
Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) singled home a run in the first and Varian added an RBI single in the third to put Cortland up 2-0. Varian's two-run single in the fifth extended the lead to 4-0. Cortland broke the game open with four runs in the seventh on a Giordano two-run single and BeVard two-run double, and the Red Dragons' final run came via an error in the eighth.
Cortland 7, Fredonia 2
Matt Valin (LaFargeville) earned the win after being replaced after two innings due to reaching a predetermined pitch count set by the coaching staff. He allowed only one hit and one walk and struck out five and left with Cortland leading 1-0. Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) went the next two and a third innings and gave up two runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Chris Puzakulics (Vestal) earned the save after closing the game with two and two thirds scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, walked two and fanned one after entering with one out in the fifth and Cortland up 4-2.
Fredonia's Sam Cestra started and allowed six runs, but only one earned, over five and two thirds innings. Bigham was 2-for-4, Domenic Monti went 2-for-2 with a walk and Kevin Yirinec hit a solo homer.
Giordano opened the game by reaching on a wild pitch after a strikeout, and he scored after an error was committed on a BeVard single. Giordano clocked a solo homer in the third to put the Red Dragons ahead 2-0, and Cortland's two-run fourth featured a Corporan sac fly.
Fredonia picked up a run in the fourth on three hits and a Kole Brink RBI fielder's choice, and Yirinec's one-out homer in the fifth closed Cortland's lead to 4-2. The Red Dragons tallied three keys runs in the sixth on two errors, a Schweitzer two-out, two-run single and, two batters later, a Varian RBI single. Schweitzer went 2-for-3 with walk and two RBI and Wyatt Myers (Chittenango) finished 1-for-2 with two walks. Giordano scored three times.