April 21, 2016
Rams keep CHS winless
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High shortstop Jake Woods tags out Matthew Cappelletti of Jamesville-Dewitt, who was trying to steal second Wednesday at Greg’s Field.
For the second game in a row, the Cortland High baseball team lost a late lead and remained winless on the season.
Visiting Jamesville-DeWitt scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning Thursday afternoon on Greg’s Field to take a 5-4 lead and added an insurance run in the top of the seventh for a 6-4 win.
The Purple Tigers, who lost 6-3 at Fulton on Monday when the Red Raiders erased a 3-1 deficit with five runs in the sixth, fell to 0-3 in the OHSL Freedom National Division and 0-5 overall. J-D improved to 2-1 in the Freedom American and 2-3 overall.
“Our bats are going, we’re hitting the ball, but we’re not playing defense,” CHS coach Ben Albright said, his team with five errors in the game. “Our pitchers haven’t let us down, but if we don’t play defense behind them it erases our advantage there.”
Two infield errors and a wild pitch brought home the Red Rams’ first run in the decisive sixth to make it a 4-3 game. After a single by sophomore leftfielder Luke Smith put men on first and second, senior centerfielder Pat Cramer greeted senior reliever Curtis Wilk, on for junior starter Duff Steve, with a bases-clearing triple to give the visitors their first lead of the game at 5-4.
An inning-ending groundout stranded Cramer, but J-D added an insurance run in the top of the seventh as junior shortstop Matt Cappelletti led off with a single to left, stole second and scored on a single to left by junior rightfielder Gavin French.
The Purple Tigers threatened in each of the last two innings. Freshman leftfielder Noah Barber, a recent callup from the JV team, reached on an error to lead off the sixth but was eventually thrown out at home on a single to center by junior second baseman Alex Babcock to end the inning.
Steve, who moved to first base after being relieved, led of the second with an infield single and went to third one out later on a double to center by Wilk, who was pinch-run for by freshman Jake Prunier, another JV callup. J-D reliever Casey Kretsch then got a lineout and a strikeout to end the game and nail down the save.
Cortland took the early lead in the first as senior shortstop Jake Woods, Babcock and Steve all singled with one out to load the bases before senior first baseman-rightfielder Jake Prignon’s sacrifice fly to second (shallow right) scored Woods. The Red Rams equalized in the second as junior first baseman Andrew LeClair was hit by a pitch with two outs and scored on a double to center by sophomore designated hitter Scottie O’Bryan.
The hosts retook the lead in the second as junior third baseman Zach Travis led off with a double to left, was sacrificed to third by senior centerfielder Dylan Brown and came home on a wild pitch. J-D made it a 2-2 game in the third as sophomore leftfielder Luke Smith led off with a single to center and eventually scored on a single to left by senior starting pitcher Dylan McGee.
The Purple Tigers went up 3-2 in the third as Steve led off with a single to left and, after Prignon walked, went to third on a flyout by Wilk before scoring on a sacrifice fly to left by Travis. CHS increased its lead to 4-2 in the fifth. Steve doubled to left and was pinch-run for by senior Jake Smith. Wilk singled to left one out later to score Smith.
Steve went 4-for-4 for the Purple Tigers with a double and a run scored while Babcock and Wilk were both 2-for-4. Luke Smith (two runs) and Cappelletti (run) both went 2-for-3 for the Red Rams while Cramer went 2-for-4 with the two-run triple.
Steve took the mound loss despite giving up one earned run in 5 2-3 innings, victimized by his defense. He gave up six hits and had six strikeouts. “Duff pitched well enough to win,” Albright said. “When you give up one earned run, you should be the winner. It’s frustrating that we can’t get it done in the field; we have to change that. This group is too good to be 0-5.”
McGee was the winner, giving up eight hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts in five innings. Kretsch threw the final two scoreless innings for the save, surrendering three hits and fanning two batters.
The same two teams meet Saturday at noon on J-D’s home field in a non-league game.
CORTLAND JVs lost to J-D 14-1 to fall to 1-3. Caleb Thompson went 2-for-2, Zach Discenza was 2-for-3 with a walk and Cam Woodard went 1-for-2 with a walk for CHS. Bryce Haines was the losing pitcher.
The JVs host Syracuse CBA Friday at 4:30 p.m. on Dave Guido Field and visit J-D Saturday in a noon start on Lyndon Field.
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