Cortland continued its SUNYAC dominance on Friday afternoon as they hosted the 10-11 Hawks of New Paltz. Amid windy conditions, the Red Dragon offense was once again able to get out the gates early, en route to a 9-2 win.
Matt Valin got the start on the mound for Cortland, and after a rocky first, settled in and cruised through six innings, surrendering just two hits and striking out ten. The offensive attack stemmed from leadoff man Colin BeVard who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Additionally, Wyatt Myers once again provided the thump in the middle of the Cortland lineup, as he went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs. DH Mat Bruno would also add a couple RBIs of his own. All together the Red Dragon offense totaled their nine runs on ten hits, highlighted by four big doubles.
Cortland starter Matt Valin worked into early trouble in the first, when New Paltz right-fielder Julian Francisco doubled just inside the right field line. Valin proceeded to hit the next batter and walk another, resulting in a bases loaded, one out jam. Valin was then able to induce a 1-6-4-3 double play to escape any damage and provide an early momentum shift towards the Red Dragons.
In the Cortland half of the first, Colin BeVard set the tone with a first pitch single up the middle. After a hit-by-pitch and fly-out to center, cleanup hitter Wyatt Myers continued his hot streak with a terrific at-bat ending in an RBI double to the wall in right. Catcher James Varian would add an RBI double of his own, followed by an RBI groundout by DH Mat Bruno, giving the Red Dragons an early 3-0 lead.
Cortland would add a run in the second and carry a 4-0 lead heading into the fifth inning. After New Paltz brought in a run of their own in the top half, Colin BeVard sparked yet another Cortland rally. Following a single for Scott Giordano and a bunt single for shortstop Dan Schweitzer, Wyatt Myers stepped to the plate with the bases juiced and nobody out. Myers crushed his second double of the game into the gusting wind in right/center field. As the ball rolled to the fence, all three Red Dragons came around to score, extending their lead to six. The inning continued with some “small ball” resulting in a pair of insurance runs. When it was all said and done, Cortland led 9-1 after five innings of play.
The Red Dragons would hold that lead, surrendering just one additional run to the Hawks, as they would go on to win 9-2.
Cortland, now 10-0 in conference and 20-9-1 overall, completes its three game series against New Paltz with a pair of games Saturday afternoon, once again at Wallace Field.