LAKELAND, FLA. – The SUNY Poly men's baseball team improved to 4-0 on Monday with two wins over Nebraska Wesleyan (1-3). This marks the first time in program history that the Wildcats have started 4-0 in a season. The scores of the games were 7-5 and 16-15.
SUNY Poly – 7
Nebraska Wesleyan - 5
The Wildcat offense exploded for 10 hits in game one, giving starting pitcher John Noone (Staten Island, N.Y.) some breathing room. The senior cruised through the first five innings, allowing just two hits. The Prairie Wolves threatened in the sixth and seventh, scoring three runs to make it interesting, but the crafty righty buckled down and got the final six outs to secure the complete game win. Noone allowed five runs (one earned) on five hits, struck out out four and walked three. Starter Sam Condello was given the loss for the Prairie Wolves. He had three strikeouts and walked a batter in three innings.
In the top of the second inning the Wildcats trailed by a run. A one out walk got the offense going for the Wildcats, who rattled off three straight singles to tie the game. A wild pitch scored Noah Vanderbeck (Saugerties, N.Y.) to give the Wildcats the lead for the first and last time in the game. Nick LaBella (Utica, N.Y.) would extend the lead with a two out, two RBI single up the middle to make it a 4-1 game. The Wildcats would tack on two more in the top of the third inning to make it a 6-1 game.
- Nick LaBella and Seth Vanderbeck (Saugerties, N.Y.) each had two RBIs in the game.
- Seth Vanderbeck went 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. He is hitting .375 through four games and has three total RBIs.
- Joshua Rodriguez (North Syracuse, N.Y.) scored three times in the game. He went 1-2 at the plate with two walks and had a stolen base. Rodriguez is hitting .625 and is leading the Wildcats with four walks.
- Noah Vanderbeck (Saugerties, N.Y.) went 1-4 with an RBI. He has three RBIs this season.
- Tyler Winterstein, the Prairie Wolves second baseman, went 3-3 in the game with two RBIs, two runs scored, and a walk.
- Matt Orozco went 1-3 with an RBI for Nebraska Wesleyan.
Nebraska Wesleyan - 15
SUNY Poly - 16
Game two was a bloodbath for pitchers. The two offenses combined for 30 hits and 31 runs. The lead changed hands in each of the first five half innings. Nebraska Wesleyan had a big top of the third inning, taking a 12-7 lead. The Wildcats would cut the lead to 12-10 in the bottom of the third, but a two run top of the fourth would put the lead back to four for the Prairie Wolves. 10 pitchers were used by the two teams, six for Nebraska Wesleyan and four for SUNY Poly. Nate Palmer (Marcy, N.Y.) earned his first win as a Wildcat, throwing a shut-out inning in the top of the seventh. Tucker McHugh was on the receiving end of the loss. He allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning and struck out three.
The Wildcats came to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning trailing by a run (15-14). After two strikeouts, the Wildcats were down to their final out with no runners aboard. Freshman Seth Vanderbeck lined a single back up the middle to put the tying run on base. Vanderbeck stole second standing and Matt Fippinger (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) drew a walk to put the tying run on second and the winning run on first. Junior second baseman John Andrews (Apalachin, N.Y.) came to the plate for the Cats', looking to tie up the game, and did just that. Andrews achieved his goal, tying the game on a single up the middle that scored Vanderbeck and moved Fippenger, the winning run, to second base. The game almost ended on a play at the plate but an outstanding slide by Seth Vanderbeck, avoided a tag by the catcher to keep the game alive.
The game winning play was unconventional, to say the least. With runners on first and second, Nick LaBella struck out swinging on a curveball in the dirt. The catcher for Nebraska Wesleyan Matt Orozco scooped the ball out of the dirt stepped into a throw to first and threw it past the first baseman into right field. The errant throw allowed Matt Fippenger, who was hustling around third on the play to score the game winning run.
- Nick LaBella went 3-5 in the game with three RBIs and three runs scored. LaBella is hitting .471 this season with an on base percentage of .526.
- Josh Rodriguez went 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored in the game.
- John Andrews was 2-3 with two walks in his first start at second base for the Wildcats. He drove in two runs and scored three times.
- Dalton Earl (Woodhull, N.Y.) went 2-2 in the game bringing his season average to .750.
- Seth Vanderbeck had a pair of hits in five at-bats. He also stole his first base of the season in the game.
- Noah Vanderbeck went 1-3 with a pair of RBIs in the game.
- Connor Manderson (New Hartford, N.Y.) went 1-3 with two hit-by-pitches. He scored three times in the game.
- Owen Gubbels went 5-5 for the Prairie Wolves with four RBIs and three runs scored.
- Matt Orozco had three hits and four RBIs in the game.
- The Wildcats had five extra base hits in the game. Connor Manderson, Nate Palmer, and Josh Rodriguez each had a double. Dean Natalizio (Greenville, N.Y.) and Dalton Earl hit triples.
The Wildcats will take on New Jersey City University on Tuesday in a single nine inning game. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM at Henley Field Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. Live broadcast links will be available on the Wildcat's schedule page.