Junior Mike Stark’s single to center field drove home senior Steve Roman in the bottom of the eleventh inning to cap off a doubleheader sweep of SUNY New Paltz Saturday afternoon.
“I think that was my first hit of the series, it just happened to come in a good spot,” Stark said.
The single gave the Lakers a 3-2 victory over the Hawks in the second game. Junior Thor Miller outdueled reigning SUNYAC Pitcher of the Year Chris Chismar to lead the Lakers to a 1-0 victory in the first game.
Miller threw seven innings of shutout ball, striking out seven with only one walk. “I could just throw anything in any count for strikes and that keeps hitters on their toes,” Miller said.
Miller worked out of a jam in the top of the third inning after allowing the first two runners to reach. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Miller proceeded to get a strikeout, a lineout to first and a fly out to center to get himself out of the inning.
“It increases confidence so much and kills their momentum,” Miller said.
“He was battling the conference pitcher of the year, he pounded the zone and did an outstanding job locating,” said Lakers head coach Scott Landers. “He stepped up to the challenge.”
Chismar fanned seven and walked just one over his six innings of work. The Hawks struggled to string any offense together to give him some run support.
The Lakers got their only run of the game in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by freshman Brian Hamilton. Hamilton was robbed of extra bases by New Paltz right fielder Thomas Pinnola but the play did allow a run to score.
Senior David Mazzulo led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a bloop single by junior Alex Jurczynski. The sac fly by Hamilton brought Mazzulo home.
The one run proved to be enough for the Lakers to capture the 1-0 victory. The great pitching carried over into the second half of the doubleheader as the Lakers prevailed 3-2 in 11 innings.
The Hawks got the first two runs on the board in the sixth inning on a two run single by Pinnola. Oswego State answered in the bottom half of the sixth with a two-run homer by Mazzulo.
Mazzulo drove in sophomore Stark Buniak, who led off the inning with an infield single.
The Hawks threatened in the top of the ninth inning as senior Billy Ruggiero and sophomore David Lostaglio had back-to-back singles with one out. This knocked out Lakers starting pitcher Dan Erne, who worked 8.1 innings, allowing two runs and striking out six.
Oswego went with senior Mark Schaper to try and get them out of the jam. Schaper walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. He then got a 6-4-3 double play to get himself out of the inning.
“I just tried to throw strikes, go in and throw my best to get out of that inning,” Schaper said.
The Lakers got an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Senior Matt Miller led off the inning with a single to right then was pinch ran for by junior Dylan Parmenter. Junior Ed Charles sacrificed Parmenter to second and put the winning run in scoring position. Hawks pitcher Nick Monaco battled to get a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the inning.
Oswego State threatened again in the bottom half of the 10th inning. Stark led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a bunt by Buniak. Buniak reached first as Monaco fielded and threw to second but not in time to get Stark. Mazzulo followed with a bunt, Monaco made the play and got the lead runner out at third.
Monaco then got a strikeout but hit the next better to load the bases, only to strikeout another batter to get out of the bases loaded jam.
The Lakers finally put the winning run across in the 11th inning on the single by Stark. Steve Roman got the rally started with a two out infield single. Roman then stole second base to put himself in scoring position for Stark. Stark lined a shot to center field and allowed Roman to sprint home.
“You’re hoping to push across runs, but as long as you throw strikes and play defense you’ll be in every game,” Landers said. “The whole weekend was huge, it’s big for momentum.”
The weekend sweep of New Paltz brought the Lakers back to .500 in SUNYAC play at 5-5 with an overall record of 14-15. The losses dropped the Hawks to 3-7 in conference play and 16-13 overall.
The Lakers have another conference doubleheader on Saturday against SUNY Plattsburgh before taking on Keuka College on Wednesday and traveling to SUNY Fredonia for a weekend series starting Friday.