Baseball drops 2 SUNYAC games against Brockport

The Oswego State baseball team dropped a pair of games in an afternoon doubleheader against The College at Brockport on Saturday. The Lakers lost the first game, 5-2, in extra innings and then lost 8-3 in the second game at Laker Field.

The Lakers jumped ahead of their conference foe early on in the first game. Junior second baseman Mike Stark led off the first inning with a base hit and stole second base before coming around to score on an errant pick-off attempt from Brockport senior pitcher Mark Ciccotti.

The Lakers tacked on another run to their lead in the second inning when senior first baseman David Mazzullo scored on senior fielder Steve Roman’s single through the left side. With the bases loaded and one out, Oswego State had a chance to rally for more runs in the inning, but were unable to come through with the big hit.

Brockport knocked home a run in both the third and fifth innings to knot the score at 2-2, where it stayed through seven innings, sending the game into extras. Oswego State junior pitcher Dan Erne kept Brockport’s line-up in check through seven innings, allowing only one earned run while scattering eight hits and striking out five.

“Dan did a great job getting ahead of hitters and mixing his pitches to keep them off balance,” Oswego State head coach Scott Landers said.

Laker sophomore outfielder Scott Buniak doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, creating a great opportunity for Oswego State to win the game. The Lakers were unable to capitalize however, going down on an infield pop-up and two fly outs.

Brockport then put together a two-out rally in the ninth, scoring three runs with four straight hits off Oswego State senior pitcher Brady Farkas, who had come on in relief an inning earlier. The Lakers went down in order the next inning to end the game.

Buniak led the offense in the game with two hits, while Stark and Mazzullo each had a hit and a run scored.

It was Brockport who jumped ahead early in the second game of the doubleheader, plating two runs in the second inning and one run in the fourth.

The Lakers were able to answer with a run of their own in the next half inning when Buniak led off with a bunt single and later came around to score on junior catcher Alex Jurczynski’s two-out double.

The Lakers’ pitching staff was unable to stave off Brockport’s lineup. Brockport scored another run in the sixth then two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings. Oswego state senior pitcher Mark Schaper struggled, giving up six runs on 13 hits, but was able to battle through 6.2 innings while striking out six.

The Lakers were able to get two runs across in the bottom of the eighth on two Brockport errors, but Oswego State’s bats were otherwise unable to rally back and the Lakers dropped the game, 8-3.

Buniak and Matt Miller each had two hits with a run scored. The Lakers struggled against Brockport junior pitcher James Bardenett, who allowed only one run over seven innings while striking out seven and walking one.

Coach Landers said that his team’s strategy in game two was not affected by game one going into extra innings, but said he did feel that after game one the team was “a little demoralized and came out flat for game two.”

After the two losses, and two more to Cazenovia on Tuesday, the Lakers are 11-15 and 2-5 in conference play. They are scheduled to play a three-game series against conference opponent SUNY New Paltz, with the first game starting at 3:00 p.m. Friday followed by a doubleheader at noon Saturday. All games will be played at Laker Field.

“We can play with everybody in our conference,” Landers said. “We have to put all the aspects of the game together and be good everyday. We have to fight each weekend for three straight games with no letdowns.”