The Red Dragons showed some life in the late innings on Sunday as they won in walk off fashion, defeating Oswego 5-3.
As opposed to the ending of this contest, the beginning of the ballgame was a pitchers duel.
Patrick Merryweather got the start for Cortland and had his best start of the year. The southpaw went 8 strong innings allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and struck out 7.
“I had my best stuff today and I stuck with it as long as I could.”
Through the first 5 innings, neither team made a threat to score. Both teams combined for a total of 5 hits through the first 5.
Then the tables turned in the 6th inning.
In the top of the 6th, Oswego loaded the bases with 1 out which set up a possible chance to take the lead. The Lakers capitalized on their opportunity, and took a 1-0 lead.
The Oswego lead wouldn’t last very long.
Jack Massa came up clutch with a 2 out, 2 RBI single up the middle to give Cortland a 2-1 lead.
Headed into the 9th inning, Coach Brown decided to go with his gut and keep Merryweather in the ballgame. Up until this point, he had only allowed one earned run.
Unfortunately for the Red Dragons, the 9th inning did not go as planned.
The top of the 9th started off with a lead off single, followed by a double down the left field line. This left no choice for Coach Brown but to intentionally walk the next batter and yank Merryweather from the game.
Mike DeCarlo entered the game in a nightmare situation: One run lead, bases loaded, nobody out and a chance of being swept.
The Lakers would deliver back to back sacrifice flies and by the time the top half of the 9th was over, Oswego led 3-2.
Now it was time for Cortland to answer.
Matthew Persnonius continued his reputation as a spark plug as he doubled down the left field line to put a runner in scoring position with nobody out.
Ralph Nuzzi entered the game as a pinch runner for Personius which petrified the opposing pitcher. Nuzzi advanced to 3rd on the E-1 and would eventually score on a wild pitch to tie up the ballgame.
“You can’t win a game without perfect managing,” stated Nuzzi “Coach has done it again.”
The game remained tied 3-3 at the end of regulation which meant free baseball at Wallace Field.
After Cortland’s threat to win the ballgame came up short in the bottom of the 10th, they had another opportunity to do so in the bottom of the 11th.
Sean Getman once again got a late inning pinch hit opportunity, and he came through with a lead off double. Patrick Schetter followed the lead off double with a sacrifice bunt, moving the winning run 90 feet away.
Stay in your seats, this game isn’t over yet.
On an attempt to win the ballgame, the winning run was thrown out at home plate following a passed ball, making it nobody on base with two outs.
With little hope left in the Cortland dugout, this game still wasn’t over.
Following a 2 out error, Colin BeVard stepped up to the plate with a chance to end this game once and for all.
BeVard blasted a ball to center field that found its way over the fence, walking it off via homerun for the first time this season.
With this win, the Red Dragons avoid the 3 game sweep and improve to 29-7 on the season.
The Red Dragons take on the Bombers of Ithaca in a heated rivalry matchup, scheduled for 4 PM on Thursday at Wallace Field. You won’t want to miss this one.