Cortland baseball beats Tufts to advance to NCAA Super Regional

Cortland players after winning the four-team regional at Wallace Field. (Photo: Alexa Barbato)

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Cortland scored 18 runs in a six-inning span from the third through eighth innings and every Red Dragon starter registered at least one hit as part of a 21-hit attack as the Red Dragons defeated Tufts, 18-5, to win the NCAA Division III Baseball Cortland, New York Regional.

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Cortland (34-11-1) advances to the best-of-three NCAA super regionals versus either Babson or Trinity (Conn.) Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, at a site to be announced Monday.

James Varian (Hopewell Junction/Trinity-Pawling) finished 4-for-5 with a double, three RBI and three runs scored. Mat Bruno (Rye) was 3-for-4 with a walk, two RBI and two runs, Wyatt Myers (Chittenango) went 3-for-5 with a walk, two RBI and two runs, and Joe Tardif (Cutchogue/Mattituck) went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

Also for the Red Dragons, Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) homered and finished 2-for-5 with a walk, two RBI and three runs. Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) ended 2-for-4 with two walks, an RBI and four runs scored, and Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) was 2-for-6 with two RBI and a run. Marcos Perivolaris (Mattituck) singled, walked twice and drove in a run in five plate appearances and Andrew Michalski (Buffalo/St. Francis) reached twice on a single and a walk and scored twice.

Isiah Hudson (Hyde Park/FDR) entered in relief for Cortland two outs into the first inning and earned the win after allowing four runs in five and two thirds innings. He struck out four, walked two and allowed six hits. Chris Puzakulics (Vestal) tossed the final two and two thirds innings and struck out six batters with two walks. He allowed three hits and was not charged with any runs.

Tufts (31-11) took a 2-0 lead after two innings. The Jumbos scored in the first on a pair of walks, a flyout that moved a runner to third and a Peter DeMaria sacrifice fly. In the second, Ryan Day led off with a single, moved to second on a two-out single by Elias Varinos and scored on Justin Mills’ single up the middle.

Cortland sent nine batters to the plate in both the third and fourth innings. BeVard led off the bottom of the third with an opposite-field homer to right and Varian tied the game three batters later with an RBI double. Myers gave Cortland the lead with an RBI single, Tardif singled in a run, and the fifth run of the inning scored on a wild pitch. The Red Dragons scored four times in the fourth after the first two batters were retired. The inning was highlighted by a Bruno bases-loaded walk and RBI singles from Tardif and Perivolaris, with a second run scoring on the Perivolaris hit due to an error in the outfield.

The lead grew to 11-2 in the fifth on RBI singles by Varian and Bruno, and the Red Dragons added a run in the sixth when Michalski singled and eventually scored on a two-out error. Tufts scored three times in the seventh on RBI singles from pinch hitter Miles Reid and Casey Santos-Ocampo and DeMaria’s second sac fly of the contest. Santos-Ocampo finished 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Cortland answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh as Schweitzer singled, took second on a balk and scored on a Varian RBI single. The Red Dragons put the game away with five runs in the eighth. BeVard singled in a run, Giordano hit a two-run double, Schweitzer followed with an RBI single, and Myers added an RBI single two batters later.

Lucas Gustavson started for Tufts and gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in two and a third innings to suffer the loss.