Hawks ninth inning rally falls short; Cortland sweeps doubleheader

CORTLAND, NY- The SUNY New Paltz baseball team finished up their weekend road trip at SUNY Cortland against the Red Dragons Sunday afternoon.  The Hawks ninth inning rally in game one fell short, losing 4-3 and fell 11-4 in game two.

Mike Avery led the Red Dragons from the plate going 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI’s and Andersen Gardner was 2-for-4 with one run.  Jason Simone was 2-for-4 with one RBI to help the Red Dragons secure game one of the doubleheader.

In game one, Mike Sherlock finished 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI and Paul Merola finished the game 2-for-4 with one run.  It is Merola’s 14th double of the year, which moves him into fourth all-time for doubles in a season.  Clinton Boettcher also added two hits on the day for the Hawks.

Mike Sherlock (Liverpool, NY/Cicero-North Syracuse) led the game off with an infield single, Freshman Paul Merola (Cornwall on-Hudson, NY/Cornwall) doubled to right center field to move Sherlock to third.  Senior Tyler Terlecky (Binghamton, NY/Binghamton) put the Hawks ahead 1-0 with an RBI groundout.  Freshman Matt O’Neill (West Chester, PA/Henderson High) followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 advantage. 

Sophomore Michael Marash (Cortland Manor, NY/Hendrick Hudson) scored the Hawks third run on a Mike Sherlock RBI single.  The Red Dragons would cut into the lead with two runs in the fifth on a pair of RBI singles by Mike Avery and Jason Simone.

In the seventh, Cortland tied the game when Andersen Gardner led the inning off with a triple to center field and would score on the next pitch as Mike Avery singled up the middle.  The Red Dragons would take the lead on Nick Faust RBI single that scored Mike Avery.

In the ninth, J.J. Potrikus faced his only batter of the game and hit Matt O’Neill with a pitch.  Brendan Rowlands relieved Potrikus and gave up a ground-rule double to Clinton Boettcher.  The Red Dragons caught a break on the play as pinch-runner Philip Parker (Brooklyn, NY/Xaverian) would have scored on the play if it did not bounce over the wall in right center field.  Michael Marash was intentionally walked to load the bases and Rowlands was able to get the last to outs for his first save of the year.

Cortland’s starting pitcher Michael Mahay pitched eight innings giving up eights on and three runs, all earned and striking out three for the win on the mound.  Brendan Rowlands gave up one hit and struck out two in one inning of work.

Senior Jonathan Shanks (Millbrook, NY/Millbrook) allowed four runs (3 ER) on eight hits and struck out seven over eight innings of work. 

In game two, the Red Dragons quickly jumped on starter Brett Harrison (Merrick, NY/Bellmore JFK) who allowed nine runs, all earned on eight hits in one and one-third innings of work.  Cortland scored three in the first and six in the second for the early 9-0 lead.

The Hawks would score two in the fourth on Devin Scalabrini (Peekskill, NY/Mahopac) RBI fielder’s choice and Clinton Boettcher RBI single through the left side.  The Red Dragons would score one more in the fourth and fifth for the 11-2 lead.

In the seventh, the Philip Parker scored on junior Dylan Franco (Croton on-Hudson, NY/Croton Harmon) double down the right field line.  Freshman Pat Sylvester (Garden City, NY/Garden City) in his first collegiate at-bat hit a solo homerun in the ninth inning for the Hawks.

Ryan Benson led the Red Dragons from the plate going 2-for-3 with one RBI and Jason Simone was 2-for-2 with two runs and three RBI’s.  Steve Nickel was 2-for-4 with one run and three RBI’s for Cortland in the nightcap.  Nicolas Blanco recorded the win on the mound allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits and striking out four.  Cortland improves to 22-10 overall and 8-2 in the SUNYAC.

Paul Merola finished 3-for-4 and added his 15th double of the year, which moves him in soul possession of fourth place in a season at New Paltz.  Clinton Boettcher finished 2-for-4 with one RBI.  New Paltz falls to 9-21 overall and 3-7 in the SUNYAC.

The Hawks return to the field, Tuesday against Mt. St. Mary College at 4 p.m. on Loren Campbell Field on the campus of SUNY New Paltz.