UTICA, N.Y. –The SUNYIT Men's Baseball Team (1-15, 0-0 NEAC) dropped their first true home game of the season Tuesday afternoon, 14-3 to nationally-ranked Cortland State (14-5). The Wildcats were neck-and-neck with the Red Dragons until a five-run 8th inning blew the game open for the visitors.
Right-fielder Zach Graczyk led the way for SUNY-Cortland in the rout, going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. John Molloy started on the hill for the Red Dragons, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs in 4 and 2/3 innings of work while earning a no-decision.
Sharing the hill at the start of the game for the Wildcats was freshman Jeff Albright (New York Mills, N.Y. / New York Mills). In a designated staff-day for the Wildcats (in preparation for a pair of conference double-headers this weekend), Albright was untouchable in his three innings of work, surrendering no hits and no runs on one strikeout, while scattering four walks.
Down 1-0, Cortland State got things going in the fifth with 2 runs on two hits and a pair of HBP's from reliever Joseph Szepessy (Athens, N.Y. / Coxsackic-Athens). Despite the rough inning, Szepessy looked good overall, registering a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 4th, striking out the final batter with a sweeping curveball that drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
SUNYIT answered right back in the bottom half of the fifth by loading the bases for All-Conference right-fielder Anthony Surber (Dix Hills, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills). But Surber was unable to drive the offering from Molloy, who came off the mound to make a spectacular throw to home to get the force out and preserve a 2-1 Red Dragon lead. After Surber's out, Sam Quinn-Loeb (Hamburg, N.Y. / Hamburg) was hit by a pitch to drive home a run and tie the game, but it would be the only run of the inning as SUNYIT left three men on base.
In the following inning Graczyk doubled down the line to give Cortland a 4-2 lead, and a bevy of relievers made sure that was enough as the Red Dragon bullpen held SUNYIT to one run over the final four innings of the game.
For the Wildcats on the day, second basemen Jim Sass (Kingston, N.Y. / Kingston) led in hits, going 2-for-4 and scoring a run. On the defensive side it was catcher Anthony Ragosta (Troy, N.Y. / Troy) standing out, as he caught two runners stealing with expert throws down to second base.
For Cortland, John Adoretto came up big, tying Graczyk for the team high in RBI's with a 2-out, 2 RBI double in the top of the 8th to push the game essentially out of reach for the Red Dragons at 9 to 5. Any chance of a comeback in the bottom half for the Wildcats was then dashed as senior right-hander Tom Nagy struck out the side.
SUNYIT will be back in action this weekend with a pair of conference doubleheaders, first against Gallaudet on Saturday starting at noon, and then on Sunday versus Penn St.-Harrisburg beginning at 1:00 pm. All games are home games to be played at Wildcat Field on the SUNYIT campus.