It was the home run derby Saturday afternoon at Wallace Field, as Cortland lost the series opener to Oswego, 8-5.
In a battle of two aces, this game definitely didn’t turn out as planned.
A total of five home runs were hit in the ballgame, four by Oswego and one by Nate Budge, the Cortland right fielder. Budge finished the game going 1-4 while leaving 5 runners left on base.
In perhaps the most exciting game of the year at Wallace Field, Cortland got off to a strong start in the first inning, but couldn’t hold their lead once again.
Figueroa scored on a wild pitch and Schetter delivered an RBI single to give Cortland an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Ace Jeff Cooke got the starting bid for Cortland, but couldn’t keep the ball in the ballpark. Cooke would surrender his first home run of the afternoon in the 2nd inning to put Oswego on the board.
Oswego and Cortland battled back and forth for a few innings, putting up a run each in 3 consecutive frames. Headed into the 5th, it was a 4-2 ballgame in favor of Cortland.
Deja vu isn’t a real thing, right? WRONG.
For the third time in recent weeks, Cortland couldn’t seem to avoid the big inning.
In the bottom of the 5th, Oswego put runners on first and second to start off the inning. Then came the big blow.
Cooke left a fastball up and in to the number 2 hitter who drove it over the left center fence for a 3 run shot. All of a sudden, Oswego had control of this game.
Two at bats later, the Oswego cleanup hitter launched a solo shot over the right field fence to make it a 6-4 ballgame. Following the big inning, Cortland needed to string together some hits in order to attempt a comeback.
Cooke exited the game after the 5th inning, allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits and striking out 4. Unfortunately for Cooke, the bullpen couldn’t keep the Oswego lineup in check.
Cortland scratched across a run in the bottom of the 5th to make it a 1 run ballgame, but left the bases loaded.
The Red Dragons finished the game leaving eight runners on base.
Following the big inning, the Cortland pitching staff needed to at least keep the ball in the ballpark to have a chance at coming back. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.
The Lakers delivered a 2 out, 2 run home run off of Jake Casey in the top of the 6th, increasing their lead to three. This would be the final blow for Cortland as they couldn’t even come close to a comeback.
Cortland only had three runners reach base in the final four innings.
Cooke received the loss for this contest, negatively effecting his record to 6-3 on the season. However, he still holds a strong ERA of 2.18.
If Cortland loses this series to Oswego, they will most likely enter the SUNYAC postseason tournament as the #2 seed.