The Oswego State men’s baseball team was held in check by SUNY Oneonta’s pitching, as the Red Dragons swept a three-game set Saturday and Sunday at Laker Field.
The Red Dragons took Game 1, 9-2, behind a solid effort from starting pitcher Joshua Herzenberg. Herzenberg tossed eight solid innings, allowing just two runs (one earned) on nine hits, one walk, while striking out six.
Down two runs in the third the Red Dragons broke the game open after capitalizing on three Laker errors.
"The defense needs to play better," head coach Frank Paino said. "It inflates in the cold weather. We’re a very young team, full of freshmen and sophomores; experience becomes a friend of ours. We will play better as we get going. Right now kids are doing a little too much because they want to win. We just need to relax and play. Keep grinding it out."
Junior Mark Schaper gave the Lakers seven solid innings, allowing nine runs (four earned) on nine hits, six walks and six strikeouts. Freshman Pat McElduff threw two shutout innings in relief, allowing just one hit and striking out one.
The Lakers’ offense was lead by Freshman Scott Buniak with two hits and an RBI. Freshman Dan Maloney and Sophomore Dan Erne each added a pair of hits. Senior Rafael Cordero had an RBI single. Junior Steve Roman and Sophomore Mike Stark both had a hit a piece.
In Game 2 of a seven-inning contest, Oneonta pushed two runs across in the seventh for a 3-1 win. The Laker bats could not solve starting pitcher Jeffrey Carter. Carter scattered three hits over six and two thirds allowing just one run, walking five while striking out four.
The Red Dragons clung to a one-run lead through five-and-a-half innings before the Lakers tied the game in the sixth. Erne connected for an RBI single as Stark came around to score.
The tie wouldn’t last long following a pinch-hit leadoff walk by Dean Haussel. Jonathan Wolfanger singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. Laker starter Marc Peterson struck out Cody Hitt before Matthew Whelehan singled to right to score Haussel. Whelehan got caught in a run down between first and second as Wofanger came around to add an insurance run for the Red Dragons.
Peterson went the distance for the Lakers matching his counterpart Carter in a tremendous effort. Peterson allowed three runs on five hits, surrendering three walks. Peterson also struck out four.
The Lakers offense managed just three hits as Erne, Roman and Buniak singled.
In Game 3 on Sunday, the Lakers would spot the Red Dragons a three-run lead in the third before falling 5-2.
In the Red Dragon third inning, Kevin Knack drew a lead-off walk and moved to third after Michael DeCarr’s sacrifice bunt was thrown into right field by Erne. Bryan Marotta broke the scoreless tie with an RBI groundout to third base. The Lakers issued an intentional walk to Eric Wells and Pete Linder shot a single into center field, driving in DeCarr. Wolfanger drew a walk and Mike Mascar knocked in Wells on an RBI groundout to the shortstop.
"Our pitching has been adequate" Paino said. "We need to minimize situations and stay more focused, even keeled and even tempered. In aluminum baseball, teams are going to score runs."
The Red Dragons got a third straight strong pitching performance from their starter Christopher Smith. Smith went six innings surrendering just two hits and struck out six Laker hitters.
"They pitched the ball well," Paino said. "Their middle relievers and closer were better than their starters."
The Lakers attempted to mount a ninth inning comeback. Tyler Baker reached on a lead-off single. Steve Roman walked and Baker came around to score on a Red Dragon error. Buniak drove in Roman on a sacrifice fly to draw within three runs. Pinch-hitter Dylan Parmenter walked and the Red Dragons turned the ball over to their closer Chris Tyson. Tyson would strike out Ed Charles and Pat Brown to end the Laker threat.
Erne started for the Lakers allowing four runs (three earned) in three innings of work. Jon Stevens pitched six strong innings in relief. Stevens allowed one run on three hits and struck out five.
The Laker offense was paced by Charles who had a pair of hits. Baker and Tom Curry each added a hit as well. The Lakers stranded 13 runners.
The Lakers fall to 10-6 overall and 0-3 in SUNYAC play as Oneonta improved to 11-6 and 6-0 in SUNYAC play.
The Lakers return home Wednesday, April 13, as they host SUNY Cortland in a doubleheader.