May 19, 2012
Red Dragons one win away
Nips regional host with just three hits
FARMINGDALE, L.I. — Making the most of just three base hits, SUNY Cortland is one win away from reaching the NCAA Division III World Series.
Though out-hit by a 10-3 margin, the Red Dragons defeated the Farmingdale State Rams 4-2 in the crucial winner’s bracket final on Friday to remain unbeaten in regional play. It was the 21st consecutive victory for Coach Joe Brown’s baseball bunch, ranked second nationally in Division III.
Top-seed Cortland (38-7-1) will face a rematch with second-seed Farmingdale State (32-11) at noon today in the championship round, as the regional hosts bounced back to beat Ithaca College 3-2 in 10 innings last night in the loser’s bracket final. If the Red Dragons lose, a final “winner-take-all” game between the same two teams will follow this afternoon.
The Red Dragons will be seeking their 11th regional title in the past 18 seasons. The regional winner moves on to the Division III World Series that starts next week in Appleton, Wisc.
Cortland starting pitcher Mike Hughes, a junior out of Albany, went 7-2/3 innings for his eighth win in 10 decisions this spring. He allowed 10 hits and three walk, but the Rams managed only two runs and struck out four times against the right-hander.
Brendan Hourihan entered with two outs in the top of the eighth and the bases loaded. He induced a flyout to the end the inning and retired the side in order in the ninth for his third save of the year.
Dominick Morelli, the first of two Farmingdale relievers, took the loss. He gave up two hits and two walks and struck out three in four-plus innings. Only one of the three runs he allowed was earned. Mike Dolce started but was relieved in the second inning after giving up one hit, four walks and a run.
Cortland led 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Brian Barry walked with one out, stole second with two outs and scored on Andrew Pezzuto’s double to left center.
Farmingdale knotted the game in the third. Matthew Zsevc singled and was bunted to second. Thomas Rydzewski then singled, but Cortland right fielder Zack Graczyk threw out Zsevc at home for the second out. Rydzewski advanced to second on the throw and scored on Anthony Alvino’s single up the middle.
Red Dragon catcher Tim Panetta doubled to lead off the bottom of the fourth and moved to third on a Graczyk sacrifice bunt. Bryan Mistretta drove home Panetta with a sacrifice fly to left.
Cortland added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Max Rosing drew a two-out walk. Michael LaTempa reached on an error by the shortstop that allowed Rosing to score, and LaTempa came in on a wild pitch.
Farmingdale’s eighth inning started with an Edward Bergmann leadoff single. He went to second on a groundout and to third on an Alvino single. Alvino was caught stealing, but Bergmann scored on the play and the Rams were within 4-2.
A Terrence Bohonan walk and singles by Frank Scarlato and Ryan McAllister loaded the bases to knock out Hughes, with Hourihan getting the flyout to end the threat.
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