April 22, 2008


Tigers’ Wright fans 14 in loss

PHOENIX — It was another good outing with little to show for it for Steve Wright Monday.
The senior lefthander scattered seven hits, chalked up 14 strikeouts and gave up three earned runs, but the Cortland High baseball team didn’t help him out much in a 6-2 OHSL Freedom Division loss to host Phoenix.
“We shot ourselves in the foot again,” said Purple Tigers coach John Tobin, whose team is now 0-3 league and 2-5 overall. Cortland committed four errors in the contest and made a number of mental mistakes as well.
“We weren’t selective at the plate. We helped out their pitcher way too much,” said Tobin, Paul Raymond picking up the win for Phoenix. “We didn’t handle him very well. We took too many pitches early in counts and put ourselves behind. Raymond is a good pitcher; we didn’t hit well. We could have put more pressure on them and a lot of our problems were self-inflicted.”
CHS had five hits in the game, and Raymond fanned nine batters.
The winners  (2-1 league, 8-3 overall) opened the scoring with two runs in the first. A one-out walk followed by a single to center by Raymond and an outfield error on the same play scored the first run, and R.J. Beeles singled to left to score Raymond.
Cortland scored one run each in the second and fourth innings to tie the score. Ryann Hubbard doubled to right-center with one out in the second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Tony Whitt. In the fourth, Justin Burns doubled to right-center and scored on a single up the middle by Hubbard.
Phoenix took the lead for good in the fifth. Paul Nolan was hit by a pitch leading off, and after Zaia singled up the middle stole third. A passed ball sent Zaia to second, Nolan holding at third, and both scored on a single to center by Raymond.
The Firebirds added two more runs in the sixth. John North reached base on an infield error leading off and stole second, scoring one out later on a single to left by Zach Piorun. An infield grounder got Piorun to second, and he later scored on an infield error.
Hubbard went 2-for-3 with the double and an RBI and scored a run for Cortland. Raymond was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run for Phoenix, and Beeles went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
CORTLAND JVs defeated Phoenix 6-2, the big inning a five-run fourth, to improve to 4-1.
Luke Bush, Connor Griffin and Ryan Flatt all went 2-for-3 to lead the way offensively. Winning pitcher Justin Hogan allowed three hits and an earned run in five innings of work with 10 strikeouts, while reliever Ryan Flatt didn’t allow any hits and fanned three while surrendering a pair of runs.
Both Cortland teams visit Jamesville-DeWitt on Wednesday and Fulton on Friday, and on Saturday the varsity will host New Paltz in a non-leaguer at Beaudry Park starting at 2 p.m.
The next foe for Phoenix will also be a local squad, as Homer Central  visits the Firebirds on Wednesday in an OHSL Freedom match-up.