March 16, 2010


Cortland HRs go for naught

AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Despite home runs off the bats of Steve Nickel and Adam Dimino, SUNY Cortland still came up short in a high scoring match-up of nationally-ranked baseball powers on Monday.
Wheaton College from Massachusetts scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to break a 7-7 tie as the nationally 20th-ranked Lyons defeated the 19th-ranked Red Dragons 10-7 in a non-league contest.
The two teams will play again today at 3 p.m. as part of Cortland’s spring vacation trip to Florida.
Defending SUNY Athletic Conference champion Cortland (6-3) led 6-0 after two innings. The Red Dragons scored in the first on a Nickel sacrifice fly and added five runs in the second on a Dimino three-run homer and a John Zilnicki two-run double.
Wheaton (2-0) got two runs back in the third on a Sean Munley two-run single and scored three in the top of the fourth. Tad Skelley singled in a run, Jeff Lieneck hit a sacrifice fly and Skelley scored the third run on a passed ball.
The Lyons grabbed a 7-6 lead in the sixth on RBI singles by Lieneck and Dan Haugh. Cortland answered with the tying run in the bottom of the inning when Nickel hit his fourth home run of the season.
Wheaton’s winning rally started with two walks, followed by a Haugh RBI double. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Jason Clucas drew a walk to force in a run and a double play grounder plated the final run.
Cortland had rallies in both the seventh and ninth innings thwarted by double plays — two of four twin killings the Lyons recorded in the contest.
Matt June went 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored for Cortland. Dimino finished 2-for-5 with three RBI and Alex Coffey went 2-for-2 with a walk off the bench.
Pitcher Travis Ratliff started for the Red Dragons and earned a no-decision. He allowed seven hits and two walks, struck out eight and gave up five runs, four earned, in four innings. Scott Hartling, the second of four Cortland relievers that included Cortland High grad Ed Southworth, suffered the loss after walking the first two batters in the eighth.
Paul Malaguti went 3-for-5 with a walk for Wheaton. Lieneck was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Skelley finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored.