Winning was on the minds of the members of the Oswego State baseball team on Wednesday, as they swept the Keuka Storm, 5-0 and 9-1, in a home doubleheader.
The sweep gives the Lakers some much needed momentum as they head into the most important weekend of the season: a three-game road series against conference foe SUNY Fredonia.
The Lakers must win all three games against the Blue Devils to remain eligible for the SUNYAC tournament.
The wins against Keuka also keep the Lakers hopes of finishing above .500 and remaining eligible for the ECAC playoffs alive.
“I would never say that a game isn’t important because I want to win them all,” Oswego State head coach Scott Landers said. “Every game is important. We have to go one game at a time and get on a roll.”
Junior pitcher Chris Nyman, on the other hand, has been focused on this weekends matchup versus Fredonia ever since the Lakers lost their series against Plattsburgh last weekend. “Really (Keuka means) nothing, but the series serves as a tune up for Fredonia this weekend,” Nyman said.
A well prepared Lakers team showed that they were more worried about Fredonia than Keuka on Wednesday.
In the first game of the doubleheader, junior Adam Bishop and freshman Dylan Kohlman combined for a one-hitter which silenced the bats of Keuka.
Oswego State’s offense got it going early, scoring in the bottom of the first when senior David Mazzullo hit a triple to deep left center, bringing in sophomore Scott Buniak from first. Senior Matt Miller hit a sac fly to right field to bring in Mazzullo, and provide starting pitcher Adam Bishop with more than enough run support..
Bishop threw four strong innings, striking out eight batters and only allowing one hit. Kohlman took the mound in the fifth inning and locked in the win for the Lakers, throwing three innings, striking out two and allowing no hits. Offensive standouts were Mazzullo, who went 1-for-3 with one RBI, and junior Mike Stark, who went 2-for-3 from the plate.
The Lakers beat the Storm in game one, 5-0. This gave momentum to the Lakers that they would not give away for the rest of the day. Heading into game two, the team knew the chances of a sweep would be possible if they repeated their same performance in game one, something that Nyman reiterated in between games.
“The main struggle for our team usually is a lack of defense,” Nyman said. “We kick the ball around way too much. We win when we play to our strengths, which have been the starting pitching and our offense.”
Sticking to their guns, it was much of the same performance for game two. Senior Starting Pitcher Brady Farkas gave up one earned run and fanned seven batters in a four inning effort for the Lakers. He moves to 4-4 on the season.
Junior stand out Mike Stark went 2-for-3 with two RBI, moving him to 4-for-6 on the day. Freshman Brian Hamilton went 1 -for-2 and started the six-run second inning which put the Lakers in front for the rest of the game.
The sweep of the Keuka Storm gives a lot of momentum to the Lakers for the weekend series at Fredonia.
“When we play Fredonia this weekend, we have to win all three games and hope Brockport takes two out of three from Oneonta in order for us to make it into the SUNYAC tournament,” catcher Alex Jurczynski said. “Like I said before, making it to the playoffs means a lot to everyone on the team, including the kids who have been here all four years. I think everyone’s going to come out to play this weekend and try our best.”
Landers clarifies what this weekend showdown really means. “This weekend is huge for us. We ultimately have to win all three games to have a chance at the SUNYAC playoffs. Fredonia can be tough at home. We have to beat them in every aspect of the game.”
The Lakers will face the Fredonia Blue Devils on their home field, Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday for a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.