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March 19, 2016

SUNYAC baseball: Dragons split league openers

WINTER HAVEN and EAGLE LAKE, FLA. – Seth Lamando allowed two hits and struck out four over five scoreless innings and Jake Hewitt homered and doubled in his first two collegiate at-bats as SUNY Cortland defeated New Paltz 15-4 Friday afternoon to salvage a split of the teams’ conference-opening SUNYAC doubleheader.
New Paltz upset the nationally top-ranked Red Dragons in the nine-inning first game of the split-location twinbill 11-2 at Chain O’ Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven. The teams moved to Lake Regional High School in nearby Eagle Lake for the seven-inning second game.
Cortland (14-2, 1-1 SUNYAC) and New Paltz (3-4-2, 1-1 SUNYAC) were slated to finish their three-game league series this morning at Pat Thomas Stadium in Leesburg.
Game 1: New Paltz 11, Cortland 2
New Paltz scored eight runs in the top of the sixth to break a 2-2 tie on its way to the victory. The Hawks sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, starting with a Chris Baltera walk and a Jake Williams single. With one out, Andrew DiNardo singled to load the bases and knock out Cortland starter Jeff Cook. Mike Mills struck out the first batter he faced, but Ryan Frost and Nick DePietro drew back-to-back walks to give New Paltz a 4-2 lead. Cortland ended up using three more relievers in the inning. Tyler Bell hit a two-run single, followed by a Chris Moran RBI single, a Baltera two-run single and a Williams RBI single to account for the eight runs.
With the Red Dragons trailing 2-0, Conrad Ziemendorf hit a solo homer in the fourth and Keith Andrews tied the game with a sac fly in the fifth. After the Hawks’ eight-run sixth, Cortland loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the frame on a double by Steven Figueroa and a Fabio Ricci walk off starter Conor Donachie, and a Ziemendorf hit-by-pitch against reliever Brian LoRusso. The Hawks escaped the inning, however, with two strikeouts, one each by LoRusso and Justin Stybel, and a flyout.
Donachie improved to 2-1 with the win. He gave up five hits and two runs with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings. Stybel earned a “three-inning” save as he gave up only one hit in three and two thirds scoreless innings. He struck out two. Bell led New Paltz’s 15-hit attack by going 3-for-6 with two doubles and three RBI. Williams was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs, DiNardo went 2-for-4 with a double, walk and RBI, and Baltera was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs. DePietro finished 1-for-3 with three walks, an RBI and two runs scored.
Cortland High alumnus Connor Griffin went 2-for-3 for the Red Dragons. Ryan Smith recorded three innings on the mound to end the game and allowed three hits and one run with one walk.
Game 2: Cortland 15, New Paltz 4
Lamando was solid on the mound for his third win in as many decisions this spring. He retired the first nine batters before allowing a leadoff single to DePietro in the fourth. He also gave up a Anthony Diana single in the fifth. Cortland turned double plays to end both the fourth and fifth innings as Lamando faced the minimum 15 batters over his five innings of work.
Cortland jumped out quickly with three runs in each of the first two innings and six in the fourth. The Red Dragons added three more in the fifth to take a 15-0 lead. New Paltz finished the scoring with two runs in each of the last two innings.
Hewitt, making his first collegiate appearance, pinch hit in the fourth and hit a three-run homer that put Cortland up 10-0. He added an RBI double in the fifth and ended 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored. Ziemendorf was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI and Nick Hart went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.
Cortland scored its first-inning runs on a Ricci sac fly, with another run scoring on an errant throw during the play, and a Hart RBI single. Ziemendorf singled in two runs and Austin Clock hit a sac fly in the third. Cortland’s six-run fourth included a Ziemendorf RBI double, a Connor Manderson RBI single and a Paul Dondero sac fly in addition to Hewitt’s three-run homer. Cortland’s three-run fifth featured Hewitt’s RBI double, a Marcos Perivolaris sac fly liner and a Dan Schweitzer RBI single.
New Paltz scored twice in the sixth on a Chris Moran two-run double and twice in the seventh on RBI singles by Tom Read and Moran. Kyle Krebs started for the Hawks and gave up six runs, four earned, in an inning and a third.

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