It was a cool 57 degree day for baseball today as the battle of the dragons took place at SUNY Cortland’s Wallace Field. The Red Dragons of SUNY Cortland turned to senior Jake Casey to deliver a must win.
Before the game started you could see on the faces of Cortland’s baseball that they meant business. Cortland wasted no time with putting runs on the board in this one putting up 5 runs in the first three innings. In the third inning Cortland decided to use the heavy bats clubbing two solo home runs, one by Dan Schweitzer and the other from Wyatt Meyers. After leading 5-2 through 4 innings Jake Casey seemed as if he was settling in but SUNY Oneonta had other plans.
After struggling with his control in the first three innings and cruising through the fourth, Jake Casey walked the first two batters to start the 5th inning when coach Joe Brown decided to bring in the hard throwing right hander Nick Morena to get out of the jam. Morena came into the game throwing strikes. With that being said, Oneonta was hitting him strategically, carving out 3 big hits and plating 5 runs in the inning to lead 7-5.
Not only has the momentum shifted in the game but also the field conditions. It started raining and there was talk of a rain delay. In playoff baseball all 9 innings must be completed which benefited Cortland because it gave them some time to come back.
Cortland however wasted absolutely no time taking the lead back by plating 3 runs in the inning capped off by a bloop single over the second baseman’s head from Mat Bruno to give Cortland the lead 8-7.
For the 6th inning Cortland turned to senior Chris Puzakulics preserve the lead and boy did he. Chris decided to fire 4 no hit innings to keep Cortland alive in the tournament. Chris was dominant in this showing, pumping strike after strike to Oneonta hitters. Oneonta had no answers for him only mustering a walk for the remainder of the game.
After winning 8-7 today SUNY Cortland will have a home game to continue it’s quest for a SUNYAC title tomorrow, May 6th, at noon against SUNY Oswego.