WASHINGTON, PA. – The Cortland baseball team moved into the championship round of the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional with convincing victories over DePauw, 9-0, and Keystone, 22-4, in a pair of elimination games.
The Red Dragons (37-8) will face unbeaten host Washington & Jefferson College Monday at noon. The Presidents need a win to advance to the NCAA Division III World Series. If Cortland is victorious, a winner-take-all championship game will follow. Cortland has won four straight games at the regional after losing its opener Thursday night to DePauw.
Cortland is looking to earn its fourth straight World Series berth and 15th overall. W&J is making its sixth NCAA tournament appearance and is seeking its first World Series showing.
Tyler Phillips (Hancock) finished the day with a combined 11 runs batted in over Sunday's two games. He homered twice, including a grand slam, and finished with eight RBI versus Keystone and drove in three runs versus DePauw. Phillips is the first Cortland player to drive in eight runs in a game since Steve Wanamaker versus Oswego in 2002.
Cortland 9, DePauw 0
Alex Weingarten (East Rockaway/Lynbrook) threw a five-hit shutout for the win to run his season record to 7-1. He struck out six and walked just one. During one stretch, Weingarten retired 16 straight batters – the final two hitters in the third through the first two batters in the eighth.
Weingarten pitched out of early jams in the second and third innings. In the second with two outs, DePauw got runners to second and third on a Tate Stewart walk, a Noah Salasky single, and a Salasky steal of second. Max Cohen followed with a line drive to left center, but centerfielder Paul Dondero (East Islip) made a nice catch in the gap to end the inning. In the third, the Tigers again had runners on second and third, this time with one out, but Weingarten fanned Mike Hammel and Jack Thompson – the number three and four batters in the lineup – to end the threat.
Cortland scored in the top of the third when Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a Phillips sac fly. The Red Dragons scored four in the fourth, all with two outs, to extend the lead to 5-0. Patrick Schetter (Beacon) doubled and Dondero beat out a chopper to third. Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) was hit by a pitch to load the bases and BeVard walked to force in a run. Steven Figueroa (Bronx/St. Raymond's) followed with a ground-rule double to right center to drive in two, and an error on a ball hit by Phillips brought home the last run.
The Red Dragons tacked on three more runs in the sixth on RBI singles from BeVard and Phillips and a Justin Teague (North Syracuse/Cicero-North Syracuse) RBI double. Cortland closed the scoring in the eighth on a Phillips single to center for his third RBI of the game.
Schetter finished 4-for-5 with a double and a run score and Phillips went 3-for-4 with sac fly, a run and three RBI to account for seven of Cortland's 15 hits. BeVard went 2-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and three runs, and Figueroa was 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a run.
Reid Pittard finished 2-for-4 for DePauw (33-13), which defeated Cortland to open the regional Thursday night. Starter Nick Horvath, normally a reliever for the Tigers, allowed six hits and five runs, four earned, in three and two thirds innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Cortland 22, Keystone 4
Cortland led 11-3 after five innings, then put the game out of reach with an 11-run sixth inning that featured nine hits and 16 total batters. Cortland's 22 runs are the second-highest by a Red Dragon squad in NCAA play – Cortland scored 23 runs in a 2010 World Series victory over Johns Hopkins.
Every Red Dragon starter finished with at least one hit. Phillips was 3-for-5 with two homers, a double, eight RBI and three runs scored. He hit a grand slam in the fourth to put Cortland ahead 8-2 and added a three-run homer during the 11-run sixth.
Schetter was 4-for-4 with a homer, two doubles, two RBI and three runs and finished the day a combined 8-for-9. His solo homer – the first of his collegiate career – gave Cortland a 1-0 lead in the second. Nate Budge (Central Square/Paul V. Moore) went 2-for-5 with a double, hit-by-pitch and four RBI and Perivolaris was 2-for-4 with a triple, three RBI and three runs scored. Also, Figueroa went 1-for-4 with two walks, two RBI and two runs scored, and BeVard scored three times.
Mike Harrington (Glens Falls) started but was pulled one out into the bottom of the fourth with two runners. He allowed three hits, two walks and two runs and struck out two. Michael DeCarlo (Wynantskill/Troy) earned the win out of the bullpen with four and two thirds innings of six-hit ball. He gave up two runs, walked two and struck out five. Ralph Nuzzi (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth inning in his first collegiate pitching appearance, and Jesse Winters (South Glens Falls/Saratoga Central Catholic) recorded a pinch-hit single in the ninth in his first plate appearance as a Red Dragon.
Keystone starter Billy Nelson took the loss after allowing eight runs, four earned, in four innings. Austin Chaszar went 3-for-4 with a homer, double, walk, two RBI and two runs for the Giants (33-15), last year's national runner-up. His two-run homer in the third pulled Keystone within 4-2. Sebastian De La Cruz was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Schetter's homer, followed by a Perivolaris triple and a wild pitch put Cortland up 2-0 in the second. Phillips doubled in a run and Schetter hit an RBI single in the third. The Phillips grand slam made it 8-2 in the fourth. The Red Dragons added three more in the fifth on a Perivolaris sac fly and a Figueroa two-run single.
In the sixth, Cortland scored 11 runs in an inning during an NCAA tournament game for the second time in three years. The Red Dragons plated 11 runs versus Frostburg State during a World Series victory in 2015. The inning versus Keystone featured two-run singles by Perivolaris and Budge, a Dondero RBI single, Phillips' three-run homer, a Jack Massa (Shoreham/Shoreham-Wading River) RBI single, and Budge's second two-run single of the inning. Keystone finished the scoring on an Adam Kelly bases-loaded walk in the eighth.