Cortland baseball wins SUNYAC regular season crown

Dan Schweitzer hit a two-run single in the 10th inning of Game 1 and drove in the lone run in Game 2 (Darl Zehr Photography)

Box Score 1 | Box Score 2

OSWEGO, N.Y. – Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) drove in the winning runs in both games and Mike Harrington (Glens Falls) threw a complete-game four-hitter in the seven-inning second contest as Cortland clinched the SUNYAC regular season title with two victories at Oswego.

Cortland (30-8, 15-2 SUNYAC), ranked seventh nationally in Division III, won the opener, 8-6 in 10 innings, and the nightcap, 1-0. Cortland reached the 30-win plateau for the 14th consecutive season, and the 24th time in the past 25 years.

The Red Dragons earned the right to host the four-team conference postseason tournament May 3-5. Cortland’s streak of hosting the SUNYAC tournament technically continues, although Oswego earned the right in 2017 but the tournament was canceled due to inclement weather. Every SUNYAC tournament since 1997 has been hosted in Cortland. That includes each one since 1998, the first year that the conference switched from a divisional format to a full-league format in which the top seed is granted tournament-hosting rights.

Cortland and Oswego will close out their three-game series at Oswego with a single game Saturday at noon.

Cortland 8, Oswego 6 (10 inn.)

Schweitzer was 4-for-6 at the plate, including a two-out, two-run single in the top of the 10th inning to break a 6-6 tie.

With pinch runner Ralph Nuzzi (Mount Kisco/Fox Lane) at first base for Patrick Schetter (Beacon), who led off the 10th inning with a single, Matthew Personius (Binghamton/Chenango Valley) laid down a sacrifice bunt and Nuzzi made it all the way to the unmanned third base bag with just one out. Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) walked and swiped second and, with two outs, Schweitzer delivered a single to score both runners. Oswego brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 10th, but Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) fanned three in a row to complete the victory and earn his fourth win of the season.

Cortland led 5-0 after three and a half innings. Schweitzer scored the second of Cortland’s three runs in the second inning on an Antonio Pragana (Hopewell Junction/John Jay) single. Pragana finished 2-for-5 with a walk and an RBI. Billy Kozak (Sidney) drove in the first run on a single through the right side and started a streak of four consecutive singles for the Red Dragons to begin the inning.

The Red Dragons took advantage of a pair of errors in the fourth inning that lead to two unearned runs and a 5-0 lead. Oswego scored one in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Myles Kutscher. Kutscher was 4-for-5 with three RBI for the Lakers.

Cortland starter Christian Dufresne (Cocoa, FL/Space Coast) went six innings in the no-decision, surrendering a run and seven hits. He waked two and struck out six. Reston Pettit countered for the Lakers and allowed five runs, three earned, on 10 hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Oswego rallied to tie the game with four runs in the seventh, highlighted by Kutscher’s third hit, a two-RBI single with two outs that knotted the game at five. It came after Eli Holton shrunk the deficit to two with a double down the line in left field to put two runners in scoring position for Kutscher’s equalizer.

Perivolaris gave Cortland the lead again in the eighth on an RBI single, but the Red Dragons could not add any insurance runs as they left the bases loaded. Hudson entered the game with an out in the ninth and a chance to record a save, but Mike Dellicarri promptly hit a home run on a 1-2 count to tie the game.

Cortland 1, Oswego 0

Harrington threw his second consecutive shutout in the seven-inning second game to improve his record to 8-0 on the year. He has now pitched 21 consecutive scoreless innings, improving his season ERA to 1.65. He allowed four hits and three walks and struck out four.

Robert Donnelly went the distance on the mound for Oswego (21-11, 12-5 SUNYAC). He scattered nine hits and a walk but allowed just one unearned run for the tough-luck loss. He also added four strikeouts.

Cortland scored the game’s lone run in the sixth. Perivolaris singled with one out and advanced to second when the right fielder misplayed the ball. Schweitzer was the hero again with his second two-out RBI single of the afternoon. Perivolaris finished 2-for-3 and Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) was 2-for-3 with a walk.

The Lakers threatened in the sixth. Josh Hoagland hit a leadoff single and moved to second on a bunt. Consecutive walks loaded the bases with just one out, but Harrington avoided trouble on a fly ball double play to BeVard in left field. With Hoagland racing home, Matt Michalski (Buffalo/St. Francis) cut off the relay throw and nailed him at the plate on a bang-bang play. Holton hit a two-out double in the seventh but was stranded as Harrington induced a groundout to third to end the game and clinch the title.

(Recap by Cortland sports information student intern Kyle Lancto and Cortland SID Fran Elia)