Oswego State chases SUNYAC title

Junior Brian Hamilton is batting .356 this year and is an enigma in the Lakers' offensive success this year (Taylor Clock | The Oswegonian)
Junior Brian Hamilton is batting .356 this year and is an enigma in the Lakers’ offensive success this year (Taylor Clock | The Oswegonian)

The Oswego State Lakers finished up their regular season SUNYAC play and will begin preparation for the 2015 SUNYAC tournament.

The Lakers (23-8, 14-4 SUNYAC) are in position to finish the season in second place in the SUNYAC conference behind SUNY Cortland (29-2, 14-1 SUNYAC). Oswego State lost all three games they played to the No. 1 nationally ranked Red Dragons during the season.

Before dropping their last two SUNYAC games to SUNY Cortland, the Lakers won seven of eight games and were a force to be reckoned with. They have players leading the conference in hits, doubles, RBIs, total bases and on-base percentage. On the defensive side, the Lakers lead the conference in fielding percentage with .968 and in team ERA with 2.61.

Leading the way for Oswego State’s offense is outfielder Dan Saccocio, who is batting .457 in the conference and .371 on the season as a whole. Saccocio has scored a team-high 27 times and has an on-base percentage of .624 in SUNYAC matchups. Outfielder Myles Kutscher has been hot at the plate recently, with three home runs on the season, two of which came in conference games. Kutscher leads the team and the conference in RBIs with 36 on the year.

Sophomore infielder Eric Hamilton has stepped up big at the plate for Oswego State this season as he leads the team in hits with 46 on the season. Notably, he hit a home run deep to left field against SUNY Cortland in their second meeting of the year. Eric Hamilton’s older brother Brian Hamilton has returned to the team after a year off and mounted an inspiring comeback. Brian Hamilton is batting .356 on the season and has filled in nicely with the strong bats in the team’s lineup.

(Elijah Vary | The Oswegonian)
(Elijah Vary | The Oswegonian)

First baseman Jordan Giller has been a slugger at the plate and a brick wall at his position. The senior is batting .404 with 42 hits, 28 RBIs and 18 walks in 2015. In the conference Giller is hitting .381 with 24 hits, seven doubles, two triples, a home run and 18 RBIs. In the field Giller has a .996 fielding percentage with only one error and 261 put outs.

The 2015 SUNYAC Baseball Championship will be hosted at SUNY Cortland from May 1 through 3, with a potential game to be played on May 4 if needed. The Red Dragons will be the No. 1 seed in the tournament with the Lakers earning the No. 2 seed. SUNY Cortland will play the No. 4 seed and Oswego State will face the No. 3 seed. Both of those seeds will be determined by the end of the weekend. Currently, the College at Brockport (15-14, 7-8 SUNYAC) is in third place with a three game series against  SUNY New Paltz (7-19, 4-11 SUNYAC) this weekend. Closely following them in fourth is SUNY Plattsburgh (12-16, 6-9 SUNYAC), who play SUNY Cortland in a three game series. SUNY Fredonia (10-17, 5-10 SUNYAC) is in a close fifth place and will play three games against SUNY Oneonta (7-19, 4-11 SUNYAC). There is some room for a shake-up in the last two spots for the tournament so the Lakers and Red Dragons will not know their opponents until after the rest of the SUNYAC games are played this weekend.

Sophomore first basemen Austin Clock (22) leads the Red Dragons in hits and is 2nd in RBIs (Taylor Clock | The Oswegonian).
Sophomore first basemen Austin Clock (22) leads the Red Dragons in hits and is 2nd in RBIs (Taylor Clock | The Oswegonian).

Oswego State’s main feat for the tournament will be advancing to the championship game and defeating nationally ranked SUNY Cortland if they also advance. Their batters with 50 or more at bat are all batting above .320 on the season and their team average is .357. The Red Dragons lead the SUNYAC with 14 home runs and 242 RBIs on the season. Their pitching staff only follows Oswego State in the conference in ERA with 2.91. They are led by pitchers Brandon Serio (5-0) and Alex Weingarten (5-1), as both have ERAs under 2.00.

SUNY Cortland has limited the Lakers to just 12 hits against them in three games. Meanwhile, the Red Dragons have recorded 30 hits in the same three games.

The Lakers have two games to get themselves prepared for the 2015 SUNYAC Baseball Championship. On April 27 they travel to Rochester Institute of Technology for a 3 p.m. game and return home to face Ithaca College at 4 p.m. on April 28.