Oswego State prepares for weekend series at SUNY Fredonia

After a week that included a series win over SUNY Oneonta and a doubleheader split with nationally-ranked SUNY Cortland, the Oswego State baseball team currently sits in the No. 2 spot in the SUNYAC standings, sporting a 15-7 overall record (7-5 in-conference).

The Lakers now look forward to traveling to SUNY Fredonia, where the squad will play a three-game series against the Blue Devils this weekend.

The Blue Devils are coming off a series loss to SUNY New Paltz and now stand alone at the bottom of the SUNYAC standings, with an 8-11 record (3-4 SUNYAC).

This past week was a successful one for the Lakers, as two players were named SUNYAC Baseball Player of the Week and SUNYAC Pitcher of the Week, respectively.

Player of the Week Tim Smith batted .529 with seven RBIs and four runs scored last week.

The senior went 4-for-4 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Oneonta after going 3-for-5 against Cortland on Wednesday.

Smith has played in 13 games this season, and has a .351 batting average with 27 hits. His 12 walks have helped boost his on-base percentage to .431, which is the fourth highest mark for Oswego State.

Meanwhile, after being named Oswego State Athlete of the Week for the previous week, Brendyn Karinchak was named SUNYAC Pitcher of the Week for his performance against the Red Dragons on Friday.

The southpaw threw a complete game one-hitter against the Red Dragons, striking out 13 batters while not surrendering a single walk. Karinchak’s performance came after tossing a complete game shutout against SUNY New Paltz on April 5. Karinchak has tossed 27.2 innings in his last three starts — an average of 9-plus per start. He also sports an impressive 1.42 ERA on the season, good for second in the league.

Oswego State will look to continue its success both offensively and on the mound in this upcoming series.

As a team, Oswego State is now second in the SUNYAC in batting average with a team mark of .302.

Eight Lakers are currently batting over .300 on the season. Senior Mike McMullen leads the team with 11 runs batted in, while Kyle Liner has smashed the team’s only home run of the season.

The Laker pitching staff, led by Karinchak, owns a 4.20 team ERA, which places the team fourth in the conference.

Along with Karinchak, sophomore Miles Kelly has performed well in his three starts this season, posting a 3-0 record with a 2.40 ERA in 15 innings pitched. Pat Brown has recorded the Lakers’ only save this season.

Fredonia’s troubles this year have been highlighted by poor offense performances, as its team is hitting .265 (second to last in the SUNYAC) while scoring fewer runs (79) than any other team in the conference.

The Blue Devils’ biggest offensive threat is Ricky Mendiola, who hit .371 with a team-leading 12 RBIs on the year.

However, Fredonia has found some success from its pitching staff this season, led by senior Sean Larson, whose 0.72 ERA leads the league.

As long as the Lakers continue playing as well as they have been as of late, they should not have too much trouble taking this weekend’s series from the Blue Devils, as they continue to chase Cortland at the top of the SUNYAC standings.

Following the Fredonia series, Oswego State will play a doubleheader on the road against Cazenovia College on Tuesday before opening a five-game home stand to finish the season.

The Lakers have yet to play a home game this season, as its previous two home games were postponed.

First pitch against Fredonia on Friday is set for 3 p.m. On Saturday, game one is set to begin at noon, while the final game of the series will begin at 2:30 p.m.