The Oswego State baseball team suffered two losses to SUNY Cortland in a home doubleheader Wednesday afternoon.
The Laker (13-12, 6-6 SUNYAC) bats could not produce in either game for the team. They loaded the bases in the first inning of the opener with two outs, but failed to bring in any runs. The Lakers did not have any runners on base again until the bottom of the fourth, when freshman Jordan Giller reached on an error. The team totaled four hits in the first game, half that of the winning Cortland (28-3, 9-3 SUNYAC) team.
Laker senior pitcher Adam Bishop (L, 2-2) held his own for the most part of the first game, keeping it scoreless until the fifth inning, when Red Dragons captain and outfielder Zack Graczyk’s single brought home a run. This put a runner in scoring position for first basemen Max Rosing to drive in another run to put the Red Dragons up 2-0. The Red Dragons went on to win 4-0. The last time Bishop pitched was against SUNY Cortland, when he pitched 8.1 innings, allowing just three hits and two runs. While he did not get the win, the Lakers did end up winning that game in Cortland, 5-4, on April 4.
The Lakers went 4-for-24 in the first game, compared to the Red Dragon’s 8-for-28. Both teams saw the same amount of strikeouts in the first game at three but scoring drives were the difference in this game.
The Lakers jumped right into the next game where junior captain Thor Miller (1-1) held off Cortland’s bats, allowing only four hits in 6.1 innings pitched. Miller only allowed one run to score. The Laker bats came alive after the Red Dragon’s scored their lone run off Miller. Sophomore Kyle Liner singled to left field, allowing junior Mike McMullen to score. Junior Scott Buniak helped the Lakers score again, driving in Liner with a double. Buniak was thrown out at second though after trying to take third, ending the inning. At the end of the seventh, the Lakers led 2-1.
Miller’s efforts were not enough, as his replacement, junior Ryan Donovan (L, 2-1), allowed two runs on three hits in the top of the eighth. The Lakers were down 3-2 and their bats went silent. The Red Dragons sealed the win with two more runs off freshman pitcher Miles Kelly (0-2), who let up two hits and walked one batter, leaving the game at 5-2. The Lakers ended up with four hits and two runs in the game.
McMullen was disappointed with the loss and said the reason for both losses was a lack of production from the plate.
“Wednesday’s double header was tough,” McMullen said. “We didn’t play the way we are known to play. Our pitchers threw great but we couldn’t put up runs behind them. Cortland is a good team and we needed to capitalize on big situations, but we didn’t come up with big hits when we needed them.”
Senior outfielder and captain Ed Charles said that leaving runners in scoring position was a big problem on Wednesday.
“…winning the first game against Cortland earlier in the season gave us a great opportunity to take a series win from them, and unfortunately we just could not get it done on Wednesday,” Charles said. “We had some opportunities offensively with runners in scoring position, but we were not able to capitalize with timely hitting and that really hurt us.”
The Lakers are batting .269 on the year and have nearly as many hits as their opponents with 222 compared to 221. The Lakers’ statistics show they are a better team than their record shows, something the players are looking to use to their advantage for the final seven games before the SUNYAC Championships.
“I think we will be fine finishing out the season,” McMullen said. “We have two more conference series versus Fredonia and Plattsburgh. We need to win these next two series to get the momentum going for the SUNYAC tournament.”
Charles believes that with a bit of cleaning up, the Lakers can win the tournament, which starts on May 3.
“Our goal is to get into and win the SUNYAC conference tournament and we have to clean up some aspects of our game in order for that to happen,” Charles said. “From here on out we just have to play our game and the rest will take care of itself.”
The Lakers take on the SUNY Fredonia Blue Devils in a three-game home series at Laker Baseball Field this weekend: a double header starting at noon Saturday, with the second game at 2:30 p.m. and, due to weather concerns, Friday’s game will now be played Sunday at noon.