April 25, 2011
Red Dragons nail down first in 12th
With a flair for the dramatic, SUNY Cortland clinched the regular season conference baseball title in extra innings on Saturday.
Pinch-hitting freshman Tim Panetta singled home the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning and sophomore Zack Graczyk singled in the decisive run in the bottom of the 12th as the hosting Red Dragons out-lasted Oneonta 7-6 to complete a two-day, three-game sweep at Wallace Field.
Ranked 12th nationally in Division III, Cortland improved to 14-1 in the SUNY Athletic Conference and sits 26-6 overall. Cortland will now host the four-team conference post-season tournament May 6-8.
The Red Dragons have hosted the SUNYAC tournament every year since 1997.
After dropping a doubleheader at Cortland on Friday by close 6-4 and 3-1 margins, second place Oneonta (11-4 SUNYAC, 20-11 overall) rallied from a 5-1 deficit with two runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to take a 6-5 lead on Saturday. Nate Jones and Kevin Knack singled in runs in the seventh and Mike Mascari, who entered the game as a defensive replacement, hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Cortland’s Alex Coffey singled with one out and pinch runner James Quinn stole second. Matt Wild drew a walk and, with two outs, pinch-hitter Panetta singled through the left side to score Quinn from second.
Oneonta threatened in the 11th with one-out singles by Mascari and Sean Fruscio, but eventually left runners on first and third. Cortland’s winning rally in the bottom of the 12th started with a one-out double by Panetta to deep left. Matt June walked and Graczyk lined a single over the left fielder’s head to end the game.
Bryan Marotta’s RBI single in the third gave Oneonta an early 1-0 lead, but Cortland tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a Nick Thode run-scoring double.
Cortland plated two runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Justin Fredenburg and Graczyk and scored again in the fifth on a Wild sacrifice fly. John Adornetto added an RBI single in the sixth to extend the lead to 5-1.
Junior pitcher Tom Nagy earned the win with 3-1/3 innings of two-hit scoreless relief. He struck out three and didn’t walk anyone. Michael Mahay started for Cortland and gave up five hits and two runs with four strikeouts and no walks in 6-1/3 innings.
Graczyk finished 3-for-7 with drove in two runs for Cortland, while catcher Panetta was 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored in his two plate appearances. Adornetto was 2-for-5 with a walk, RBI and run scored. June and Thode each finished 2-for-6, with June also adding a walk and two runs scored.
Mascari was 2-for-2 with his three-run homer and Dean Haussel went 2-for-3 for Oneonta. Marotta and Fruscio also registered two hits apiece.
Cortland visits Keystone College in Pennsylvania Tuesday and hosts Rochester in another non-conference contest Wednesday before closing out regular season league play with three games at New Paltz Saturday and Sunday.
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