MARCY, N.Y. - SUNYIT captain Chandler Evans (New Hartford, N.Y. / New Hartford) smacked an RBI-triple in the bottom of the 6th inning to break a 5-5 tie with Cazenovia on Saturday in game one of a conference doubleheader at Peter A. Spina Field. Starting pitcher Daniel Wiecek (Fort Plain, N.Y. / Fort Plain H.S.) then retired the side in order in the top of the 7th to hang on for the 6-5 win.
SUNYIT scored three runs in the third inning and added another in the fourth to build a 4-1 lead going into the top of the 5th. Wildcat starter Wiecek was in control through the first four, allowing just one run on a deep solo homer over the scoreboard in right by Cazenovia second baseman Jamie Barr.
In the top of the 5th Cazenovia would mount a rally, however. After surrendering a leadoff single, Wiecek responded with back-to-back strikeouts and seemed poised to get out of the inning. But a two-out double by leadoff batter Tim Ackerman and a hit-by-pitch prolonged the inning and allowed for a costly error to score two runners.
The visiting Wildcats would score two more runs on a base hit by Nestopolous later in the inning, and a stunned SUNYIT team would head back to the dugout after a Wiecek strikeout, down 5-4.
To SUNYIT's credit, the Wildcats responded immediately. With two outs in the bottom of the 5th, freshman Ryan Wegner (Rochester, N.Y. / Brockport H.S.) singled home Joseph O'Rourke (Camden, N.Y. / Camden H.S.), tying the game at 5-5.
The first game on Saturday was a true team win, evidenced in particular by the events of the top of the 6th inning. With runners on first and second and only one out, Wiecek induced a ground ball up the middle from Ackerman. Making the play going to his right was SUNYIT second baseman Jim Sass (Kinston, N.Y. / Kingston H.S.), who had to go to his knees to backhand the ball. Sass subsequently tagged second base with his glove, then threw from his knees to first-base, where Chandler Evans expertly picked the one-hopper to give a fired-up Wiecek an inning-ending double play.
Evans would go on to rip the game-winning triple to deep right-center field, and Wiecek handled the most dangerous part of the lineup in 1-2-3 fashion in the top of the 7th to secure the win for SUNYIT.
Wiecek continued his remarkable work on the mound, throwing a complete-game while allowing just 1 earned run and striking out 8. The game lowers Wiecek's ERA to a team-low 2.23.