OSWEGO, N.Y. (CORTLAND ATHLETICS) –
Tournament MVP Danny Coleman (Saratoga Springs) homered and drove in four runs as second-seeded Cortland defeated third-seeded Brockport, 12-9, to win the 2022 SUNYAC Baseball championship at Oswego’s Laker Field.
Cortland (33-10), ranked 12th nationally in Division III, finished 3-0 in the double-elimination tournament to win its second straight SUNYAC title and 36th overall. The Red Dragons earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III tournament. The tournament field will be announced on Monday, May 16, and the 60-team tournament begins on Friday, May 20, with 14 four-team regionals and two, two-team regionals at primarily campus sites. Cortland will be making its 29th consecutive NCAA tournament showing, extending its Division III record.
Coleman went 2-for-3 with a walk, homer, hit by pitch, four RBI and two runs scored, and in three tournament games he hit .500 (4-for-8) with two homers, four walks, a .643 on-base percentage, eight RBI and six runs scored. He was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon), Andrew Michalski (Buffalo/St. Francis) and Mat Bruno (Rye).
Giordano was 2-for-4 with a walk, RBI and two runs and finished the tournament hitting .583 (7-for-12) with three walks, three RBI and five runs. Michalski went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs Saturday and hit .462 (6-for-13) in three tourney games with two walks and five runs. Bruno went 2-for-4 with a double, walk, three RBI and two runs in the title game and hit .417 (5-for-12) in three games with a homer, double, walk, six RBI, five runs and two steals.
Brockport (33-9) was led by Tom Kretzler, who finished 3-for-5 with a homer, walk, two RBI and two runs, and James Houlahan, who was 4-for-6 with an RBI. Justin Pangburn was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI and Matt O’Dair was 2-for-4 with a walk.
Cortland grabbed a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Coleman’s three-run homer and a Hunter Holliday (Camden) two-run single. Brockport, however, scored six times in the top of the third to take a 6-5 lead. The big hits in that inning for the Golden Eagles were a Kretzler RBI single, a Brian Tietjen two-run single, and RBI singles by Pangburn and Houlahan.
The Red Dragons regained the lead with two runs in the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Giordano and Coleman, and the Cortland lead grew to 9-6 in the sixth on a Bruno two-run single. Kretzler hit a solo homer with one out in the top of the seventh, but Cortland added what proved to be three keys runs in the eighth to make it 12-7. Bruno doubled in the first of those runs, followed later in the inning by bases-loaded hit by pitches from Matthew Krafft (Cornwall) and Antonio Pragana (Hopewell Junction/John Jay).
Brockport didn’t go down without a fight in the ninth. Tietjen led off with a double and went to third on a one-out O’Dair single. Zach Harter’s sac fly made it 12-8 and Pangburg hit an RBI double to cut the deficit to three. Houlahan’s single and a Ryan Mansell walk loaded the bases to bring up Kretzler as the potential go-ahead run. Brandon Buchan (Seaford/MacArthur), who entered just before the Mansell walk, got Kretzler, who finished the tournament with three homers and 11 RBI, to fly out to deep center for his first save of the season.
Cortland starter Anthony Fusco (Yorktown Heights/Yorktown) gave up five runs, but only two earned, in two and a third innings. Shane Mugnolo (Howard Beach/Xaverian) earned the win after allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk in four innings out of the bullpen. Matt Funk (Pine Plains) gave up two runs in two and a third innings before giving way to Buchan. Matthew Colucci allowed five runs in two thirds of an inning as Brockport’s starter. Nick Lawlor suffered the loss after being charged with Cortland’s two runs in the fourth.