April 14, 2008
Dragons stretch win streak to 18
By pulling out a couple of close calls on Sunday, the SUNY Cortland baseball team was able to extend its winning streak to 18 consecutive games with a pair of doubleheader sweeps over the weekend.
On Sunday at Wallace Field, sophomore Steve Nickel’s two-run homer capped a four-run second inning and the Red Dragons held on to beat Plattsburgh 5-4 in the seven-inning second game of a SUNY Athletic Conference doubleheader.
The Red Dragons had won the nine-inning opener 6-3. In the nightcap, freshman Travis Ratliff improved his pitching record to 6-0. Ratliff gave up six hits and four runs — three earned — in 6 1/3 innings. Senior reliever Nick Serio struck out the final batter for his fifth save.
Those two victories came after taking two from SUNYIT on Saturday at Wallace Field, the Red Dragons capturing 19-10 and 11-0 wins.
Cortland is now 8-0 in SUNYAC play, 22-3 overall and ranked fifth in the nation in Division III.
Cortland 6, Plattsburgh 3: Sophomore Matt Tone earned his fourth win of the season despite giving up seven hits and three runs in five innings. He struck out three and walked three in his first appearance since throwing a no-hitter at Oswego last weekend.
Junior J.J. Potrikus earned his second save of the year with four outstanding innings of relief. He struck out the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings and finished with nine strikeouts. He gave up two hits and one walk.
Anthony Coromato and Matt Vitalone each went 2-for-4 for Cortland, the Red Dragons with 10 hits overall.
Cortland 5, Plattsburgh 4: Senior Mike Zaccardo went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in a run for the Red Dragons.
Plattsburgh (3-3 SUNYAC, 7-13 overall) got two hits from Erik Schwind and two RBI from Billy Davis. Pitcher Mat Kelley went the distance for the Cardinals and allowed only five hits and two earned runs over six innings.
In the four-run second inning a two-run double by senior Josh Hicks and Nickel’s two-run homer — his first collegiate four-bagger — gave Cortland a 5-3 lead.
Cortland 19, SUNYIT 10: Junior John Zilnicki went 5-for-6 with a triple, double and six runs batted in for the Red Dragons. Cortland built a 15-2 lead through the opening three innings.
Zilnicki’s five-hit day started with a two-run single in a nine-run first inning. He added an RBI triple in the second, a two-run double in the third, a single in the fifth, an RBI groundout in the sixth and a single in the eighth. Senior Nick DeVito went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBI singles and Zaccardo was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Freshman Mike Assmann pitched five innings for the victory and is 3-0 on the year.
Cortland 11, SUNYIT 0: Freshman Michael Mahay pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the win in the second game. He struck out five, did not walk a batter and scattered eight hits.
DeVito retired the four batters he faced in relief, three by strikeout. Coromato’s two-run homer sparked a four-run second inning for the Red Dragons. He also singled in two runs in the fifth and finished 2-for-2 with four RBI and three runs scored.
Joey Russo was 2-for-2 with a two-run single and Zaccardo went 2-for-3. Russo’s two-run single in the fourth extended the Red Dragons’ lead to 7-0.
Cortland visits rival Ithaca College in a non-conference contest Wednesday. First pitch is at 4 p.m.
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