April 21, 2008


Purple Tigers fall in final to CBA


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High picther Matt Carr bears down against Dryden in the opening round of Saturday’s Partigianoni Tournament game at Beaudry Park. Carr pitched the Purple Tigers to an 11-6 victory, but the CBA beat the hosts 15-2 in the title game.

Staff Writer

The Cortland High baseball team’s performance in its own Greg Partigianoni Tournament Saturday proved to be a microcosm of the Purple Tigers’ season thus far.
“We’ve had good moments like in the first game, and bad moments like in the second game,” said Cortland coach John Tobin, his team with a 2-4 overall record after beating Dryden High 11-6 in the first round before losing the championship game to Syracuse CBA 15-2 in a pair of Beaudry Park contests. The Brothers had downed Homer 11-3 at Barry School’s Dave Guido Field in the other first-round game.
“A lot of our problems were self-inflicted, which is going to happen when you have five sophomores and a freshman, with five of the six in most of the time. We’re working hard to get better,” said Tobin.
The day didn’t start out well for the hosts, as Dryden scored three runs in the first inning off CHS starter (and eventual winner) Matt Carr, keyed by Pat Finnerty’s two-run single. The Purple Tigers came right back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first, two coming on infield errors sandwiched around an RBI single by Jason Hogan.
Cortland took the lead for good with single runs in the second and third. Derek Allen singled to right with one out in the second and moved around to score on a balk, wild pitch and passed ball. In the third, Ryann Hubbard singled up the middle with one out and, one out later, Justin Tabel was hit by a pitch and Allen walked to lead the bases before Trevor Williamson also walked to bring Hubbard home. Dryden starter Matt Colbert then got a strikeout to avoid further damage.
The Purple Lions, who lost for the first time in three games this season, got a run back in the fifth when Cory Goodenough reached second on a one-out infield error and came home one out later on a single to center by Colbert. Cortland, however, scored three runs each in the fifth and sixth, sandwiched around a two-run Dryden sixth, for some breathing room.
After Brandon Watkins led off the CHS fifth with a walk and Justin Tabel singled, Allen sacrificed them each up a base before, one out later, Steve Wright lashed a two-run triple to right-center. Ian Spafford then doubled Wright home.
Wayne Dougherty walked to lead off the Dryden sixth and, after a fielder’s choice by Pat Finnerty erased pinch-runner Andrew Barber, Eric Dodge singled to right. A passed ball put runners on second and third, and an RBI single to left by Devin Cross scored Dougherty before Dodge scored on a groundout to close the deficit to 8-6.
The winners answered with their three-run sixth. Hubbard was hit by reliever Dodge with one out and stole second before Watkins walked. Allen doubled to left-center one out later to score Hubbard, and after Trevor Williamson walked to lead the bases Wright picked up two more RBIs, and closed out the scoring, with a single to right.
For the game, Wright went 2-for-3 with the triple, four RBIs and scored twice, while Allen was 2-for-2 with the double, an RBI and two runs. Colbert went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run for Dryden.
“Our coming back in the first was big,” Tobin said. “We were still a little impatient early, but then we began waiting on the ball and playing our game. Matt settled down after the first, too, and we made some plays behind him.”
Carr, in picking up the win to even his record at 1-1, the sophomore right-hander retired 10 of the next 11 batters he faced after the first inning and finished with 10 strikeouts and two walks, having allowed seven hits and six runs, three earned, in six innings. Spafford retired the Purple Lions in order in the seventh.
Colbert gave up seven hits and eight runs, seven earned, in 4 2-3 innings, with eight walks and seven strikeouts.
“Nobody threw strikes,” Dryden coach Kim Brown said, his two hurlers (Dodge walked two more batters in 1 2-3 innings) having surrendered 10 free passes in all. “There were a bunch of walks. Offensively I don’t have many worries, but we need to keep improving defensively and think about situations before they actually happen. The game came down to our inability to prevent them from getting free passes and a couple of defensive lapses.
“Colbert had a good day at the plate, but needed to have a better day on the mound. He was hurt by his inability to locate pitches early on in the count.”
Syracuse CBA 15, Cortland 2: Cortland wasn’t able to duplicate its comeback efforts in the title contest, as CBA (4-1) scored two runs in each of the first three innings and then exploded for six more in the fourth to make it 12-0 before the Purple Tigers finally scored a run in the bottom of the fourth. Only two of those first six runs were earned off CHS sophomore starter Ryann Hubbard, who took the loss, going 2 2-3 innings and giving up seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The winners’ six-run fourth off reliever Cody Smith (eight runs in all, only two earned) was keyed by a three-run double to right-center by Stu Flynn and a two-run triple to left by Pat Weise. Cortland finally reached CBA starter (and winner) Dave Anderson for a run in the fourth, as Williamson reached on an infield single with one out and moved to third one out later on a single to right by Watkins before Allen came through again with a single up the middle.
Pete Clarke smacked a two-run home run to left in the fifth for CBA before Spafford cleared the fence in right with a solo shot in the bottom of the same frame. Weise doubled to lead off the sixth to greet Watkins, Cortland’s third pitcher in the game, and later scored on a groundout to account for the final margin.
Weise went 3-for-4 with a triple, double, three RBIs and two runs and Clarke went 3-for-5 with a home run, double, three RBIs and three runs for CBA, while Flynn was 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs and Brian Weise, Pat’s brother, was 2-for-2.
Spafford went 2-for-3 with a homer, double, RBI and run and Hogan was 2-for-4 for Cortland.
“We haven’t been hitting at all,” an obviously pleased CBA coach Tom Dotterer said after seeing his team put up 26 runs in the two tournament games. “This is new to us. I don’t like to see all this wasted scoring when we’re headed into the middle of the league (OHSL Liberty Division) schedule next week, but that’s life.
“Anderson has good poise for a freshman,” he added. “The way he sets up, and his mound presence, are very advanced. He has the stuff a pitcher’s going to have at 14; he’s not overpowering. But that causes batters to get impatient waiting for the ball, and they don’t have the control or power they normally could have.”
“CBA’s a good hitting team, and you have to make some plays or that’s what they’ll do to you. There were some plays we could have made. We had an error right off the bat,” said Tobin, CHS allowing CBA leadoff man Shawn McGraw to reach safely in the first.
“A couple of guys have started swinging the bat pretty well for us,” noted Tobin. “Spafford is starting to hit the ball well, and Allen had a couple of big hits today. As a team, we need consistency, to get everyone doing that at the same time. Against CBA it was hit-and-miss. We hit the ball better, but we need to get all of them going at once coming into the bulk of the league schedule.”
Cortland returns to league play by hosting Phoenix at 4:30 p.m. today before visiting Jamesville-DeWitt Wednesday and Fulton on Friday, both games also starting at 4:30 p.m. The Purple Tigers then close out the week by hosting New Paltz in a non-league contest at 2 p.m. this Saturday at Beaudry Park.