The senior center fielder Wes Randall was sidelined for much of the year due to a hamstring injury and only appeared in 14 games this season before today. In his 15th game of the year, the Syracuse, NY native went 4-5 with the walk-off hit, despite missing more than half the season and having limited at bats.
Randall’s big day now extends his on-base streak to four games. He has reached safely in 12 of the 15 games he has played this season as well.
Ithaca College’s pair of twins, Sam and Webb Little, each had big days at the plate in the near upset in Game 1 of the New York Regional over top-seeded Oswego State. The two sophomores are from the area, both graduating from Christian Brothers Academy.
Webb played first and batted in the two-hole today, going 3-5 with a double, two runs scored and one RBI.
Sam, the right fielder, went deep to right in the top of the 6th inning, a two-run shot. This gave Ithaca College an 8-3 lead in the latter stages of the ballgame. Sam finished the day with four hits on five plate appearances, with three runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Ithaca College’s bullpen, which has been a weak spot for them this season, gave up six runs over 3.1 innings pitched today. All six runs allowed by the Bombers’ bullpen were earned. The collapse in the bottom of the 9th inning was the first loss since April 30 for sixth-seeded Bombers.
To start the inning, Matt Eiel allowed a hit to Mike Dellicarri. John Barnes then reached on a fielder’s choice and Eli Holton walked. Andrew Bailey, who was the designated hitter to start the afternoon, come on in relief for Eiel and was the losing pitcher with two walks to the only two batters he faced in the ninth. Tom Cosentino was the next pitcher to enter and failed to record an out and also let Barnes score on a wild pitch to make it 10-9.
The Bombers elected to load the bases and walk Kyle Dinges before bringing in Logan Barer. Barer got Alex Brown to strike out on a foul tip before letting two inherited runners score on the walk-off single from Randall, blowing the save opportunity.
When the Lakers needed runs the most, they got them. They followed up Ithaca’s three-run sixth with four runs themselves in the bottom half to make it an 8-7 ballgame. And in the 9th inning, when they needed it most, the Laker bats stayed patient and took advantage of the walks the Bombers pitching staff gave them. The Randall walk-off and 11-10 victory keeps them on the right track through day one of the regional.
Despite allowing 15 hits and 10 runs, the Laker pitching staff did not take too much of a hit. Tim Cronin faced 33 batters over six innings, and Brian Nolan finished out the afternoon for Oswego State with three solid innings of his own. Nolan did allow two runs, both in the top of the 9th, but limited the damage after Adam Gallagher hit a solo shot to widen the Bombers’ lead to 10-8.
This leaves Lakers manager Scott Landers with plenty of options to go to in tomorrow’s contest. The Lakers will be playing the loser of Tufts University vs. the College of New Jersey at 2:30 p.m. Friday.