Winner-Take-All Game Three set between Cortland and Oswego for SUNYAC Baseball Championship

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Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) hit the game-winning homer with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning as nationally 22nd-ranked Cortland (26-6) stayed alive in the SUNYAC Baseball Finals with an 11-10 win over 21st-ranked Oswego. Oswego (24-4) won the opening game of the best-of-three series, 7-6, and the teams will decide the league title Saturday at noon in Game 3.

GAME ONE: Oswego 7, Cortland 6

Oswego rallied from a 5-3 deficit after six innings with a run in the seventh and three in the eighth, then held off a Cortland rally in the bottom of the ninth.

Five Lakers – Paul Tammaro, Brendon Frank, Ryan Enos, Kyle Lauria and Julian Drew – finished with two hits apiece. Enos also walked and drove in two runs, Frank had a walk, two steals and an RBI, Tammaro walked and scored three times, and Lauria had a walk and an RBI.

Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) was 2-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored, Antonio Pragana (Hopewell Junction/John Jay) went 1-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs, and Daniel Coleman (Saratoga Springs) was 1-for-2 with two walks for Cortland.

Anthony Van Fossen earned the win for Oswego in relief of starter Kieran Finnegan. He tossed three and a third hitless inning, allowing just one walk and striking out two, to improve to 5-0. Mike Di Salvo picked up the same despite allowing a run on two hits with two walks in the ninth.

Cortland starter Ryan Flansburg (Queensbury) gave up three runs on seven hits over four and a third innings. Bailey Gauthier (Camillus/West Genesee) entered in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out and struck out two batters. He followed that with a scoreless sixth and gave up one run in the seventh before getting an inning-ending double play to keep Cortland up 5-4. However, Gauthier allowed a one-out walk and two-out walk in the eighth, and both of those runners eventually scored and he suffered the loss.

Cortland scored on a passed ball and a Ben Rhodes (Amsterdam) bases-loaded walk to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Oswego tied it in the second on a Hunter Holliday RBI double and Drew RBI single. The Lakers picked up a run in the fifth on an Enos RBI double, but Cortland put up three in the bottom of the fifth on Pragana’s RBI single, a BeVard run-scoring double, and a Varian two-out RBI single.

Lauria’s RBI single cut the Oswego deficit to 5-4 in the seventh. The Lakers tied the game on a wild pickoff throw in the eighth, then took the lead on a Frank RBI single and Enos RBI double.

Mat Bruno (Rye) pinch hit to start the ninth and homered to left center to bring Cortland within a run. A Coleman walk, a Matthew Krafft (Cornwall) bunt single and a Pragana sac bunt put runners on second and third with one out. After a foul out for the second out, Oswego intentionally walked Giordano to load the bases and got the next hitter to fly out to end the game.

GAME TWO: Cortland 11, Oswego 10 (10 inn.)

In another wild back-and-forth game, Cortland took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, only for Oswego to score at least once in each of the next five innings to go ahead 7-4. The Red Dragons, however, tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a Bruno leadoff homer, a Rhodes walk and a Coleman two-run homer. Cortland added three more in the seventh to take a 10-7 lead on a Bruno RBI single, a Coleman bases-loaded walk and an Andrew Michalski (Buffalo/St. Francis) bases-loaded hit by pitch.

Oswego came back again, scoring twice in the eighth and once in the ninth to tie the game at 10-10. The runs in the eighth came via a Dylan Frawley RBI single and a Frank sacrifice fly to deep center. However, Oswego’s runner from second on the sac fly rounded third too far and was thrown out retreating back to the bag to end the inning. In the ninth. Lauria singled with one out, stole second and scored the tying run on a Ryan Weiss single to left. Cortland turned a double play on the next batter to keep the game tied. Neither team scored again until Giordano blasted a pitch over the fence in right center for the walk-off homer.

Cortland’s four-run first featured a Varian two-run single, a Paul Franzese (Somers) RBI groundout and a Bruno RBI single. Connor Stanton doubled in two runs for Oswego in the second, Frank had an RBI single in the third, and Myles Felton tied the game with a two-out solo homer in the fourth. Weiss put Oswego up with a two-run homer with two outs in the fifth, and Tammaro hit a two-out homer in the sixth to extend the lead to 7-4.

The teams combined for 31 hits in the contest, including 19 by Oswego, although Cortland drew seven walks to Oswego’s one. Giordano went 3-for-4 with two walks, an RBI and three runs scored, and Bruno was also 3-for-4 with a walk, three RBI and two runs. Krafft finished 3-for-6, Coleman was 1-for-3 with two walks and three RBI, and Varian drove in two runs.

Frank was 4-for-4 with two RBI, Weiss went 4-for-5 with three RBI, and Stanton finished 3-for-4 with two RBI for Oswego. Frawley ended 2-for-4 with a walk, RBI and two runs, while Felton and Tammaro each had two hits.

Liam Krasney (Greenville), Cortland’s fourth reliever, earned the win after holding Oswego scoreless on one hit over the final inning and two thirds. Van Fossen, the winner out of the bullpen in Game 1, took the loss in the nightcap. He started the eighth and kept Cortland off the scoreboard for two innings, in addition to recording the first out in the 10th, before allowing the Giordano homer.

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