May 2, 2008


Cortland takes full advantage of chances

EAST SYRACUSE — The Cortland High baseball team made the most of its hits, and its chances, Thursday in scoring a 7-4 non-league victory over host East Syracuse-Minoa.
The Purple Tigers had only four hits in the game but took full advantage of four walks and two Spartan errors to improve to 4-9 on the season.
They also got strong pitching performances from starter Cody Smith, who gave up five hits and four runs, three earned, in five innings, and reliever and winner Ryann Hubbard, who gave up two hits and an earned run while fanning three in two innings.
Cortland actually scored its first three runs in the fifth before getting its first hit of the game the next inning, having managed only one runner, on an error, in the first four frames. Trevor Williamson walked and stole second before Justin Burns also walked. One out later Tony Whitt walked to load the bases before an infield error on a chopper by Smith scored Williamson. ES-M starter Brandon Lansing then walked Derek Allen to score Burns and was replaced by Nick Elsenbeck, who got a strikeout before walking Hubbard to bring home Whitt.
The Purple Tigers added a run in the sixth as Burns singled to right-center for their first hit of the game, Matt Carr walked and Whitt reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Burns.
ES-M tied it with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Alex Watkins’ two-run single was the key blow, and it brought Hubbard on in relief of Smith. A wild pitch and passed ball each scored a run before Hubbard got two strikeouts and a pop-out to end the inning.
“Smith gave up three hits over the first five innings, but was hurt by our two long innings, plus the fact that he was a base-runner in the fifth,” Tobin said. “Hubbard did a nice job of picking him up.”
Cortland broke the tie with three runs in the top of the seventh. Allen led off with a single to left and Brandon Watkins walked before they both scored on a double to right-center by Hubbard, who stole third and came home on a sacrifice fly to deep center by Williamson.
ES-M pushed a run across on a bases-loaded wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh before Hubbard closed out the game with a strikeout and a groundout.
“It was a good win,” Tobin said. “We played good defense, with only one error, and Whitt played a great game at shortstop with eight assists and a putout, making a couple of fabulous plays.”
The two Cortland pitchers helped themselves, as Hubbard had three RBIs and Smith drove in two runs. Matt Hill was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs and Chris Banaszek went 2-for-4 for ES-M (4-8), while Watkins drove in the two runs.
CORTLAND JVs beat ES-M 6-5 as Justin Burns threw a complete game, allowing eight hits and three earned runs with eight strikeouts.
The Purple Tigers (7-2) had just five hits in the game, but were also able to capitalize on a pair of walks and two hit batters. Connor Griffin, Jake Robillard, Ryan Flatt and Andrew Edwards each had a single and an RBI while Devon Darrow was hit by a pitch and came around on three stolen bases.
Both Cortland teams visit Mexico Saturday.