ITHACA, N.Y. - The Ithaca College baseball team defeated the No. 25 SUNY Cortland Red Dragons, 15-4, at Freeman Field on Tuesday afternoon, April 9. With the win, Ithaca's overall record is 16-5, while Cortland falls to 18-9-1.
This is the first time Ithaca has defeated the Red Dragons since 2013 as the Bombers dropped Cortland three times that season en route to a third place finish at the NCAA Division III Championship. Entering the game, Cortland was on an 11-game winning streak and had only given up 17 runs during that span.
Cortland got on the board in the top of the first inning when its first two runners of the contest reached with a pair of infield hits to have runners on first and second. Red Dragons senior Dan Schweitzer singled to left field to score Scott Giordano to make the score 1-0.
In the bottom of the first, senior Webb Little doubled to center field with one out to start a four-run rally. In the next at bat, senior Adam Gallagher hit a double to center field as well, which scored W. Little and tied the game at 1-1. Following a walk by senior Sam Little to put runners on first and second for the Bombers, senior Matt Carey singled to center to plate Gallagher, which gave IC the lead at 2-1.
The scoring continued for IC when junior Buzz Shirley singled to center, which led S. Little to cross home. After junior Andrew Wollner walked to load the bases, sophomore Jack Lynch drew a bases-loaded free pass to make the score 4-1 at the end of the first inning.
In the bottom of the second, S. Little ripped a two-run home run down the right field line, which stayed just inside the foul pole, to extend the Ithaca lead to 6-1. Gallagher doubled to right center to get things started for the Bombers, which was then followed by S. Little's third home run of the season.
The Bombers added another run in the bottom of the third off an RBI single by W. Little to score Lynch to swell IC's lead to 7-1.
IC broke the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth with seven more runs to increase the difference to 14-1. Senior Cam Fuoti got things started for Ithaca in the frame with a walk. After Carey was hit by a pitch, Shirley doubled to right-center to score Fuoti to make the score 8-1. Ithaca added a pair of runs when Wollner singled up the middle to score both Shirley and Carey.
After back-to-back walks to Lynch and senior Garrett Snyder, W. Little crushed a grand slam over the right field fence to cap off the seven-run outburst and made the score 14-1.
In the top of the sixth, senior Jake Binder left the game after only giving up three hits and one earned run. He finished the day with five strikeouts and he retired the last 16 batters he faced over 6.1 innings pitched for his fourth win of the year.
After two scoreless innings, Ithaca got back on the board in the bottom of the seventh when Shirley hit a double to right-center to push home Fuoti to extend the Ithaca lead to 15-1.
The score ended at 15-4 after Cortland plated three runs in the top of the ninth, but it was not enough to spark a comeback.
Headlining Ithaca's offense was W. Little, who finished 3-for-5 with a team-high five RBI. Shirley also had a stellar performance, going 5-for-5 with three RBI. Shirley, as well as Gallagher, both had two doubles on the day. Lynch drew a team-best three walks on the day as the Bombers earned 10 free passes at the plate.
Senior Christian LaLomia tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief, while Shirley closed out the game in the ninth with a strikeout.
The Bombers are back in action for an Empire 8 Conference showdown against Stevens at 4 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, April 10, at Freeman Field.