CORTLAND, N.Y. – Matt Valin (LaFargeville) tied a school single-game record and set a SUNYAC Tournament single-game mark with 17 strikeouts and Steven Salisbury (Cranston, RI/Moses Brown) drove in the winning run with a two-out, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the 10th inning as top-seeded Cortland edged third-seeded Fredonia, 1-0, in an elimination game during Day 1 of the league's postseason playoffs.
May 4, 2019
Valin Ties Cortland School Record With 17 K's in 1-0 Win Fredonia to Stay Alive at SUNYAC Tournament
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Cortland was knocked into the loser's bracket earlier in the day with a 3-2 loss to fourth-seeded Oneonta. Oswego, seeded second, won 5-2 versus Fredonia in the second game.
Cortland (30-10-1), ranked 18th nationally in Division III, reached the 30-win mark for the 15th straight year and the 25th time in 26 seasons. The Red Dragons will play an elimination game Sunday at 1 p.m. versus the loser of Sunday's 10 a.m. game between Oswego and Oneonta, and if Cortland is victorious it would play again Sunday at 4 p.m. The tournament was originally scheduled to begin Friday but was pushed back a day due to poor weather.
Oneonta 3, Cortland 2
Oneonta's Robert Ottaviano outdueled Cortland's Zack Durant (Verona/V-V-S) as Oneonta (18-18) scored twice in the top of the eight to break a 1-1 tie before holding off the host Red Dragons in the bottom of the inning. Ottaviano, now 7-4, allowed six hits and two walks and struck out five for the complete-game win. Durant gave up five hits and three runs, one earned, with seven strikeouts and a walk in seven-plus innings. Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) allowed only one walk and fanned two in two innings of work.
Oneonta took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Dominic LaMonica's leadoff homer, but Cortland tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) one-out walk, a Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) single and, two batters later, a James Varian (Wappingers Falls/Roy C. Ketcham) RBI single.
The guests opened the eighth with a Mike Graves single. Sean McGlynn followed with a sac bunt, and a throwing error on the play allowed Graves to come all the way around to score and send McGlynn to third. Hudson entered at that point and got a pop-up for the first out before David Debearadinis hit a sac fly to left to drive in McGlynn.
Cortland closed to within 3-2 in the bottom of the inning. Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) singled with two outs and scored on Giordano's deep double to center. Giordano advanced to third on a wild pitch before a flyout ended the inning. Ottaviano retired Cortland in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Varian and BeVard each finished 2-for-4 and Giordano was 1-for-3 with a walk for Cortland. LaMonica went 1-for-2 with a homer and two walks for Oneonta.
Cortland 1, Fredonia 0 (10 inn.)
Valin went the full 10 innings on the mound for Cortland and allowed only three hits and two walks to improve to 8-0. With his 17 strikeouts, which included 15 through nine innings and two in the 10th, Valin tied a 52-year-old school single-game record set by Allan Greenberg versus Le Moyne in 1967. He also broke the SUNYAC Tournament record of 13 strikeouts by Cortland's Matt Tone versus Oneonta in 2008.
Cortland outhit Fredonia, 11-3, but left 15 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the third and runners on second and third in the fourth, seventh and ninth frames. Fredonia (12-23) had just one runner reach scoring position when Tyler Phillips doubled with one out in the top of the 10th.
Cortland looked poised to win the game in the ninth when Varian hit a ball into the hole at shortstop with runners on second and third and two outs in the ninth, but Fredonia's Nicolas Fiore made a backhanded grab and throw and first baseman William Clifford scooped the ball to end the inning.
In the 10th, Joe Tardif (Cutchogue/Mattituck) led off with a pinch-hit single and was bunted to second by pinch hitter Mike O'Connor (Buffalo/North Tonawanda). Garrett Hunter (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) followed with a single to right, but Fredonia threw out Tardif at home on a relay from right fielder Phillips to pitcher Sam Cestra to catcher Jon Morrison for the second out. Salisbury then pinch hit and singled to left on the first pitch to drive in Hunter with the winning run.
Mat Bruno (Rye) finished 3-for-4 with a double, Hunter went 2-for-5, and Schweitzer walked three times for Cortland. Cestra pitched a complete game for the Blue Devils, scattering 11 hits and five walks and fanning five. Kole Brink was 1-for-2 with two walks.