March 15, 2011


Dragons get bats on track

AUBURNDALE, Fla. — SUNY Cortland baseball coach Joe Brown figured it would only be a matter of time before his team began hitting.
The Red Dragons did just that during their second day of spring break games in Florida, combining for 28 runs and 31 base hits while beating Keene State of New Hampshire 12-4 and Clarkson University 16-1 in a pair of non-league contests on Monday.
It was a good way for Cortland (5-4) to prepare for tonight’s showdown, facing UMass-Boston at 5:30 p.m. at this same site. Both teams were in the NCAA Division III World Series last season, where Cortland ended up as runners-up.
Cortland 12, Keene State 4: Senior pitcher Michael Mahay from Whitesboro improved to 3-0 on the season with the Cortland victory. He scattered seven hits and three runs over six innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
Junior Brendan Hourihan struck out three and gave up three hits in two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Senior Vinny Cuviello allowed two hits and a run in the ninth with one strikeout.
Sophomore Bryan Mistretta reached base all five times he came to the plate with two singles, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. He scored three runs. Junior Andrew Pezzuto went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, freshman Adam Smith drove in three runs and freshman P.J. Rinaldi drove in two runs.
Keene State (3-2) — who faced Cortland last May in an NCAA regional contest in Auburn – took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Larry Longo two-out RBI single. Cortland went ahead for good with five runs in the top of the third. With Mistretta on third and Matt June on first with two outs, the Red Dragons executed a double steal to tie the game.
Zack Graczyk followed with an RBI single and, after a walk, Pezzuto doubled to drive in a run. Rinaldi capped the inning two batters later with a two-run single.
The Owls cut the Cortland lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the third on a Tyler DiPrato two-run double. Mahay settled down from that point and retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
Cortland’s four-run sixth inning was highlighted by Smith’s two-run single, a Jeff Wiltsie run-scoring groundout and a Dan Kaplan RBI single. The Red Dragons added a run in the eighth on an error and two in the ninth on a Smith sacrifice fly and a Kris Gentzke RBI single.
Cortland 16, Clarkson 1: Cortland recorded 18 hits and played errorless ball for the second straight game in its win over the Golden Knights. Smith finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, scored twice and drove in a run.
Freshman Tim Panetta and sophomore John Adornetto each went 3-for-5 with an RBI. June and Graczyk were each 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Junior hurler Aaron Schuldt from Liverpool recorded his first win as a Red Dragons. The Binghamton University transfer gave up four hits and two walks, struck out eight and allowed one run in six innings.
Three Cortland relievers — junior Peter Lompado, sophomore Zachary Badanes and senior Scott Hartling — each pitched a scoreless inning. Lompado and Badanes each struck out two and did not allow a hit. Hartling fanned one batter and gave up one hit.
Cortland’s pitchers struck out a combined 13 Golden Knight batters in the contest.
Cortland grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a Graczyk RBI double, but Clarkson tied the game in the second when Justin McInerney led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Dan Lenney sacrifice fly.
The Red Dragons broke the game open by scoring 12 runs over the fourth and fifth innings. The five-run fourth frame featured a Panetta RBI single, a June two-run single and a Smith run-scoring single. The seven-run fifth included an Adornetto RBI single, an Anthony Brevetti sacrifice fly, an Alex Coffey RBI triple, a June run-scoring single, a two-run single by Graczyk and a Nick Thode RBI double – his second two-bagger of the inning.
Cortland added two unearned runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh when Mistretta was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.


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