May 26, 2007


Dragons fall in 12th inning


Photo provided by Bill Glasheen
SUNY Cortland shortstop Matt Vitalone makes the throw to first in the team’s loss to Kean University during the first round of the 2007 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship in Grand Chute, Wis., Friday.

GRAND CHUTE, WIS. - Eric Ammirata’s pinch-hit, two-run single sparked a three-run 12th inning as Kean University defeated SUNY Cortland, 4-1, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III World Series at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Cougars (40-8), ranked fourth nationally, will play Chapman University in a winner’s bracket game at 7:45 p.m. today. Cortland (40-6), ranked second nationally, is now 0-4 in extra-inning games this spring. The Red Dragons were to face defending national champion Marietta College in an elimination game at 1:15 p.m. today.
The game featured strong pitching performances, as both starters tossed the entire 12 innings. Kean’s Daniel Zeffiro allowed four hits and five walks and struck out nine. He gave up one unearned run and improved to 9-1. Cortland senior Jimmy Dougher gave up nine hits and one intentional walk while fanning six. Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned. His record slips to 8-2 with the setback.
The Cougars’ winning rally started with a leadoff single through the left side by Dan Mattonelli. The next batter, Derek Gianakas, bunted with two strikes, with Dougher fielding the ball. Dougher had a shot at forcing Mattonelli at second, but his throw was wild. Aaron Richard then sacrificed the runners to second and third and Ammirata hit a chopper that bounced just over the glove of leaping first baseman Travis Robinson into right field to drive in two runs. A Ryan Clark squeeze bunt drove in the final run of the inning.
Kean took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Richard doubled down the right field line with two outs and scored on Perry Schatzow’s RBI single up the middle. Schatzow was thrown out at second on the play to end the inning. Dougher settled down after that and retired 10 straight batters before allowing a one-out single to Clark in the eighth.
Cortland stranded runners on third base in the first two innings and another runner on second in the fourth. The Red Dragons tied the game with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Matt Vitalone hit a grounder to the pitcher to lead off the inning, but the throw was dropped by the first baseman. Robinson’s sacrifice bunt and a Sean Caughey groundout moved Vitalone to third and freshman Steve Nickel singled through the left side to drive in the tying run.
Kean threatened in the top of the ninth. Joseph D’Andrea led off with a single up the middle and went to second on a Mattonelli sacrifice. Gianakas then hit a line drive that Cortland centerfielder Jim Basnight made a diving catch on to save a run. D’Andrea tagged and went to third, but was stranded when Dougher caught Richard looking for an inning-ending strikeout.
Cortland also stranded a runner on third in the ninth. Dan Maycock walked and was bunted to second by Vitalone. After Robinson was intentionally walked, pinch-hitter Nick DeVito hit a grounder to short for a forceout at second, beating the attempted double play throw to first to keep the inning alive. Nickel flied out to right, however, to end the threat.
The Red Dragons’ best chance to end the game came in the bottom of the 10th. Junior Joey Russo drew a leadoff walk and Basnight laid down a bunt that was fielded by the pitcher. The throw to first got away from the first baseman, with Russo going to third on the play, but Basnight was called out for interference and Russo was returned to first base since the ball was declared dead. Zeffiro induced a double-play grounder to short to end the inning.
Mattonelli and Schatzow each finished 2-for-4 for Kean, which is making its first-ever World Series appearance. Vitalone was 1-for-3, including a leadoff double in the second, while Russo and Basnight each reached on a hit and a walk.




National title for Acquaviva

OSHKOSH, WIS. —Cortland senior Christina Acquaviva won the national title in the heptathlon Friday at the NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Acquaviva set a new Division III record in the event with 5,189 points. Amy Reed of Messiah was second with 5,142 points and Jillian Crandall of Wisconsin-River Falls placed third with 4,989 points.
On the men’s side, Cortland sophomore Jake Zanetti earned All-America honors in the pole vault and junior Amaan Siddeeq (Goshen) broke a school record in the prelims of the 100-meter dash Friday.
Acquaviva led the 18-competitor event after four events on Thursday. She extended her lead on Friday after winning the long jump with a distance of 17-11.75. She then finished seventh in the javelin (119-3) and eighth in the 800 meters (2:28.16) to hold off Reed and earn All-America heptathlon honors for the third straight year. Acquaviva finished fifth in 2005 and fourth last year.
Also on Friday, Acquaviva competed in the prelims of the 100-meter hurdles. She advanced to today’s finals with a time of 14.55 seconds, the top time in her heat and the second-best overall.
In addition to Acquaviva, Cortland freshman Fawn Dorr will compete today in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles.
Zanetti entered the competition with the 15th-best qualifying pole vault height, but finished sixth by clearing 15-9.25. The top eight finishers earn All-America honors. Peter Sprecher of Monmouth College won the event at 16-3.25.
Siddeeq qualified for the finals in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.47 seconds, breaking the previous school record of 10.53 seconds set by Stefan Mascoll in 1998.
Siddeeq was to be one of nine finalists in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes today. He was also set to anchor the Red Dragons’ 4x100-meter relay team in today’s finals. Joining him on the relay are junior Kevin Ma, junior J.J. Riese and sophomore Matt Bieringer. In addition, seniors Andrew Cloke and C. Fred Joslyn were to run today in the 5,000 meters.