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April 04 , 2007

 

Red Dragon slugger Maycock slams Ithaca

Dragon Baseball

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
SUNY Cortland senior Dan Maycock hit a grand slam homer in Tuesday’s 9-4 win over Ithaca at Wallace Field.

By ALAN BUTLER
Sports Editor

Arriving late to batting practice because of an afternoon class, SUNY Cortland right fielder Dan Maycock had a request of head coach Joe Brown.
Knowing what to expect going into Tuesday afternoon’s non-conference baseball clash against arch rival Ithaca College, the senior slugger asked his coach and batting practice pitcher for a steady diet of change-ups and breaking balls to get his swing in tune for the task at hand.
That preparation came in handy in the bottom of the sixth inning at sun-drenched Wallace Field when the visiting Bombers pulled to within one-run of the Red Dragons. It was at that perilous juncture that Maycock uncorked a grand slam home run that led to an eventual 9-4 Cortland victory in a game stopped midway through the eighth inning because of darkness.
“I give him credit, because the previous at bat had had struck out,” said Coach Brown of the Maycock opposite field line drive that cleared the right field fence over the 371-foot mark with sacks filled of Red Dragons. “That’s a good job. That’s what seniors are supposed to do.”
That it came against an old adversary in left-handed IC hurler Ryan Mays — a Clinton native who had stymied former Utica Proctor performer Maycock in the past — was an extra bonus.
“I got a good piece of it, so I just started running. Then I saw our first base coach raise his hand and I knew it was out,” said Maycock, the formidable 6-foot-7 and 240-pound switch-hitter who now has five home runs and a team high 28 RBI for these 17-2 Red Dragons. “I haven’t had too much success against Mays. We’re from the same area and we’ve played summer ball against each other. It just felt good getting a piece of one.”
Maycock’s blow was one of 14 hits collected by Cortland against three different Ithaca pitchers.
Designated hitter Andersen Gardner, who was 5-for-5 as the starting Red Dragon catcher in a romp past Fredonia the previous day, stayed hot and collected three hits in five plate appearances. Maycock, leadoff man Anthony Coromato, catcher Mike Zaccardo, shortstop Matt Vitalone and centerfielder Jimmy Basnight each finished with two hits.
And starting pitcher Matt Tone, a freshman left-hander who attended Iroquois High School in the Rochester area, had a solid start in a game Cortland never trailed. Before being lifted in the sixth inning, Tone gave up just six hits while striking out four and walking a lone batter. Only one of the three runs scored by Ithaca off the rookie were earned.
MAYCOCK WAS NOT the only late arrival to this game, which was moved up from its original date today because of the forecast of wintry weather. Because of a mix-up, which Coach Brown called “an honest mistake with the assigner,” the umpires were also tardy.
Not getting to throw the game‘s first pitch until 50 minutes beyond the scheduled 4 p.m. starting time did not faze Tone, who is now 2-0. Facing Ithaca for the first time wasn’t too daunting, either, the freshman well aware of the rivalry between the two schools in all sports.
“We have a lot of pitchers on this team who can go out there and do the job,” said Tone, who has faced top Division III teams like Carthage and William Paterson already this season. “When you get your chance you want to give them something good to watch.”
“He did a good job, worked both sides of the plate well,” said Brown of his starter. “And our defense did a good job, including turning a big double play.”
That double play came in the middle of what could have been a huge Ithaca rally in the sixth inning, which the Bombers (9-6) came into trailing 4-1. An error and singles by Shane Wolf and Eric Ferguson had already produced one run when a grounder to shortstop Vitalone became a twin killing, with just inserted second baseman Josh Hicks making a crucial pivot at the bag.
Tone was lifted at that point. And though Jason Friedman followed with a single off reliever Ryan Hooper to get Ithaca within 4-3, the double play enabled the Red Dragons to stay ahead.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Gardner stroked a single into right, Travis Robinson walked on four straight pitches and Zaccardo fisted a ball just over the mound that went for an in field hit the loaded the bases.
Maycock unloaded them when he unloaded on the first pitch he saw.
ITHACA HAD THE bases loaded with no outs in the seventh, but would get only one run back.
That’s because Red Dragon Coromato ran down a ball driven to deep left by Ithaca catcher Rob Raux that became a mere sacrifice fly. That‘s because Ithaca’s Shane Wolf, facing reliever George Jweid, hit a liner that landed in Vitalone‘s glove. That’s because Jweid ended the inning by picking Ithaca’s Jeremy Peters off first base, Robinson sneaking behind the unsuspecting Bomber.
Cortland added a seventh inning run when Hicks reached on an error, raced to third on a perfect hit-and-run single by Gardner and scored on a Robinson fly ball to left.
After Jweid pitched a scoreless top of the eighth, the umpires declared it too dark to continue and Cortland had a third consecutive victory. After a disappointing doubleheader loss at Brockport on Saturday to end a 14-game winning streak, Cortland has erupted for 48 runs over the past three days.
And beating Ithaca is always nice.
“Ithaca is a tough team that we could meet in regionals, if we’re lucky enough to get there,” said Maycock, this victory a step in the right direction towards Cortland’s NCAA Division III tournament post-season ambitions.

Cortland is scheduled to host St. Joseph’s in a noontime doubleheader Friday at Wallace Field

 

 

Hartquist slugging goes for naught

Homer Central girls rallied once, but could not comeback a second time as the Trojans dropped a 5-4 decision to East Syracuse-Minoa in their OHSL Freedom Division softball season opener for both teams at Homer Elementary School Tuesday.
“Overall, I was pleased for the first game,” said Homer coach Cris Colasurdo. “We responded well to being behind to take the lead in the fourth inning. We did make a couple of mental mistakes that hurt us, but we did alright.”
Junior tri-captain Stephanie Hartquist picked up where she left off last year by putting Homer in front 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run.
ES-M strung together a couple of runs off starting pitcher Ashley Brown in the top of the third inning. Brown, who pulled a muscle in practice Monday, pitched in pain for three innings before giving way to sophomore Katie Wick, who pitched the final four innings and took the loss.
Vickie Smith smacked a single up the middle for the Trojans in the bottom of the fourth before Hartquist strode to the plate and belted her second round-tripper in as many at-bats. The two-run shot gave Homer a 3-2 lead that was short-lived.
A pair of walks gave the Spartans two base-runners. On a double steal, the Trojans forgot to cover third base and the throw went into the outfield as the tying run dashed home. Jamie Evans went to third on the play and scored on a passed ball. Lauren Daly and another ES-M teammate each drew walks. After Daly stole third, Chelsea Casciano laid down a well-placed squeeze bunt that allowed Daly to score as ES-M took a 5-3 lead.
Homer cut the deficit to 5-4 in the sixth inning with another Hartquist blast. ES-M put on a defensive shift that moved the second baseman into the outfield, but despite the four fielders, Hartquist belted a double. The ball then scooted passed all four outfielders and the resulting error allowed Hartquist to score her third run of the game to go with her perfect 3-for-3 day.
The Trojans tried to mount one final comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Halee Riley singled, but was forced out at second base on a ground ball by Lindsay Richards. With two outs, Richards stole second, but another groundout ended the game.
Brown struck out five ES-M batters and allowed three walks during her pitching stint. Wick also fanned five and walked four over the final four innings. Of the five ES-M runs, only two were earned with one each charged to Brown and Wick.
Daly went the distance for ES-M with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
Homer softball will travel to Phoenix today for a Freedom Division contest at 4:30 p.m.

 


Big road win for CHS rackets

It wasn’t just that his Cortland High boys’ tennis team won Tuesday, but the circumstances surrounding the match that made Bob Walrath particularly happy.
“To beat Jamesville-DeWitt is a good thing, but to do it up there was outstanding,” Walrath said of the Purple Tigers’6-1 romp in their OHSL Freedom Division opener. It was the squad’s second win in as many days to open the season.
Meanwhile, Homer Central opened the season dropping a 5-2 match at Fulton.
Cortland 6, J-D 1: Four matches would go into a third set, and CHS won all four to beat the Red Rams.
“Steve Koltz and Doug Robbins got things going in the right direction, winning their matches in straight-set fashion,” said Coach Walrath of his first and second singles performers, respectively. “We shouldn’t do it, but we expect them to go out and come away with wins because they’ve proven that they have that kind of ability and determination. 
“In his first varsity match, Chris Decker fought back from a set down to force a decisive third-set tie-break, which he pulled out 11-9. Chris continues to impress; he is putting together his natural athletic ability with strategy and improving strokes. It will be fun to see how much he improves as the season unfolds.”
Koltz beat Cooper White 6-2, 7-5, while Robbins was a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Gorav Simlote and Decker downed Ken Koseki 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 11-9. Colin Doran earned J-D’s only point at third singles by beating CHS’s Luka Starmer.
“The doubles teams showed a lot of grit as they scrapped their way to three-set wins,” Walrath said. “We felt that we had a pretty balanced lineup going in. Ben Girtain-Plowe and Tom Russell teamed up at first doubles and it didn’t take them long, playing together for the first time ever, to back each other up and out-hustle their opponents as their match got deeper into the third set.”
That earned the third CHS point and the clinching win came soon after from second doubles Greg Wissink and Evan Henkel.
 Girtain-Plowe and Russell beat Jon Conlon and Chris Clark 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, while Wissink and Henkel outlasted Steve Rommevaux and Nate Lee 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. Aaron Medford and Colin Heasley were 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 winners over Devan Ramachandran and Reed Hollinger.
Both the second and third doubles teams rallied from 5-4 third set deficits to win.
Fulton 5, Homer 2: Homer hung tough in its first outing.
“This three-hour match was a lot closer than the overall score,” said Homer coach Nancy Cavellier. “Overall, Fulton’s consistency on the court made the difference.”