CORTLAND, N.Y. – Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) went 4-for-6 with a homer, double, three RBI and two runs scored to lead a 13-hit attack as top-seeded Cortland advanced to the championship round of the NCAA Division III Baseball Cortland, New York Regional with a 10-5 win over third-seeded Tufts University.
Cortland (33-11-1) will face Tufts Sunday at 10 a.m. (time changed from original schedule of 11 a.m.) and needs just one win in two tries to win the regional and advanced to next weekend's super regional round. Tufts (31-10) stayed alive with a 7-4 win over Penn St. Harrisburg in an elimination game to close out Saturday's three-game schedule.
Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) was 2-for-5 with a triple, walk and three RBI for the Red Dragons, who led 10-0 after five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth and three in the ninth to create the final margin. Cortland scored twice in the first, once in the second, four times in the third and three times in the fifth.
Giordano led off the top of the first with a solo homer, hit RBI singles in the third and fifth innings, and hit his school single-season record 20th double to lead off the seventh. Schweitzer had RBI singles in the first and third and BeVard singled in a run in the second and hit a two-run triple in the fifth.
Zack Durant (Verona/V-V-S), now 7-3, allowed two runs on seven hits in five and two thirds innings for the win. He struck out five and walked three. Durant pitched out of trouble in the first two innings. The Jumbos loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on a one-out Justin Mills single, a Casey Santos-Ocampo double and a two-out Peter DeMaria hit by pitch before a groundout ended the inning. Tufts started the second with singles by J.P. Knight and Harrison Frickman. A fielder's choice put runners on first and third, but Durant got the next hitter to ground into a double play.
Tufts broke through versus Durant in the sixth. The Jumbos loaded the bases with one out and scored on a Frickman RBI single and a Will Schackelford sac fly. A walk then re-loaded the bases and prompted the entry of Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) from the bullpen. Hudson struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning and keep the score at 10-2, and he tossed a perfect seventh inning. Dan Hobbs (Saratoga Springs) struck out two batters in the eighth in his lone inning of work. Tufts made it 10-5 in the ninth on a Santos-Ocampo three-run homer with no outs. Steven Salisbury (Cranston, RI/Moses Brown) entered and allowed one hit before getting a double play grounder and a flyout to end the game.
Frickman finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, Mills was 2-for-4 and Santos-Ocampo went 2-for-5 with three RBI for Tufts. Aidan Tucker suffered his first loss of the season for the Jumbos and is now 7-1 on the year. He gave up 10 runs, six earned, on 11 hits with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings. Brendan McFall pitched four scoreless frames, allowing just two hits and two walks and registering five strikeouts.