MARCY, N.Y. - GAME 1:
The Wildcats took advantage of a tough day defensively for the visiting team to win the 9-inning affair by a score of 8 to 3. Gerald Milanes and Ryan Kelly led the team with 3 hits each. Milanes added 2 runs and an RBI.
The Wildcats were down after the top of the 5th inning as Cazenovia hung two runs on starting pitcher Sawyer Haney to take a 3-2 lead. The sophomore righty did a great job of battling through the inning, however, with a little help from his defense. With no outs, one run already in and the bases loaded, Haney got a groundball to third baseman Josh Rodriguez, who was playing in. The rookie fired the ball home to senior catcher Anthony Ragosta, who whipped it to first for a crucial double play. The next Cazenovia player singled to plate one more, but Haney struck out the ensuing batter looking to limit the damage.
Haney's escape act was rewarded in the bottom of the 5th, as the Wildcats responded with a 2-out rally to score 3 runs and retake the lead. The inning started with a Dante Rose walk – after a Ray Smith sacrifice bunt and a groundout by Rodriguez, the always-patient Joseph O'Rourke drew a walk to keep the inning alive. Rose then scored on a double down the left-field line by Milanes.
The inning really broke, however, on a strange play involving the next batter, Anthony Ragosta. Ragosta swung and grounded the ball to 1st base. But the senior's bat made contact with the glove of the Cazenovia catcher prior to contacting the ball. Catcher's interference was called – normally resulting in the batter being automatically awarded first base. However, the Cazenovia first baseman booted the ball, allowing Ragosta to reach first safely anyway, and scoring both O'Rourke from third and Milanes from 2nd.
The Wildcats added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 7th, again taking advantage of Cazenovia errors, then pushed one more across in the 8th on a wild pitch.
It ended up being plenty, as the Wildcat pitching staff blanked the visitors the rest of the way. Haney settled down to throw a scoreless 6th and 7th, and Duke Schneider and Alex Helenek combined to take care of the 8th and 9th innings.
Haney's final line was 7 IP, 8 H, 3 BB's and 5 K's.
As for the Cazenovia starter, Chris Schad, the freshman righty actually threw well were it not for a whopping 6 errors in the field behind him. Only one of the 7 runs the pitcher gave up was earned.
The nightcap played out in a much more straightforward fashion for the Wildcats. Both teams played better defense, with SUNY Poly committing the only error of the game. As a result, fans got the pitcher's duel they may have seen in Game 1 were it not for the defensive lapses.
Both teams' starters went six innings strong, with Ryan Kelly getting the nod for the home team. Kelly was spectacular, scattering 7hits over his 6 innings of work while striking out 6 and walking none. The rookie right-hander picked up his second win of the year, improving his record to 2-1 overall.
The Wildcats were a model of efficiency in the way they scored their runs. Three base hits in the first inning resulted in Josh Rodriguez scoring on a Dylan Gorski line drive to left field. Then in the second, a Ray Smith double over the right-fielders head scored Rose all the way from first base. Finally, in the 4th, Smith singled, stole second, then scored on a double by Rodriguez, a soft liner that found the perfect spot down the right field line.
Andrew Scharra, who has been excellent of late in relief for the Wildcats, finished the game off with a 1-2-3 inning to earn his first save of the year.
Overall, Gorski had a monster day for SUNY Poly. The senior catcher, who splits time with Ragosta, went 3-for-3 with an RBI at the plate. In addition, he called a combined shutout behind the dish, and threw out a Cazenovia runner trying to steal second to end the 3rd inning.
The Wildcats will head to SUNY Canton next for a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 28th. The first game is set to start at 2:00 pm.