Cortland struggles through victory
Rochester uses eight pitchers, hold Red Dragons to five hits
CORTLAND, N.Y. – Scott Hartling allowed two runs in five innings for his fourth victory in as many decisions this season as 11th-ranked Cortland extended its winning streak to 10 games with a 4-3 non-league decision against visiting Rochester.
Hartling gave up eight hits with no walks and one strikeout for the Red Dragons, who improve to 28-6 with the win. Rochester (11-17), with four Liberty League games coming up at Union this weekend, threw eight different pitchers one inning apiece. Dan Ludwig (Victor) allowed two runs on one hit and a hit batsman in the second to take the loss.
Rochester's eight pitchers combined to hold Cortland to five hits and two walks. Matt Wild finished 2-for-2 off the bench and Alex Coffey was 1-for-3. Cortland scored its four runs on a wild pitch and three RBI groundouts over the first five innings.
The Yellowjackets lost, despite totaling 12 hits. Matt Francis was 3-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch two runs scored and Alex Caghan went 2-for-2 with two sacrifices and a hit-by-pitch.
Cortland put two runs on the board in the second. Nick Thode singled and Chris Jackson was hit by a pitch. Dan Kaplan bunted the runners to second and third, Thode scored on a wild pitch and Jackson scored on a Tim Panetta groundout to short.
Rochester used “small ball” to score a run in the third. Dominick Caruso and Francis led off with back-to-back bunt singles, and Caghan followed with a sacrifice bunt. Steve Just grounded out to second to score Caruso, but Hartling got another groundout to end the inning.
Cortland went up 3-1 in the bottom of the third. Coffey singled to start the inning and stole second. He alertly took third on a groundout to the pitcher and scored on Zack Graczyk's groundout to short.
In the top of the fifth, Francis led off with a single for Rochester and was bunted to second by Caghan. He scored on Jon Menke's two-out double to right. Matt June led off the bottom of the fifth for Cortland with a single to the hole at short. He stole second, moved to third on a Graczyk groundout to second and scored on a John Adornetto groundout to short.
The score remained 4-2 until the top of the ninth. With two outs and nobody on, Rochester strung together three straight singles by Francis, Caghan and Just, the last of which plated a run. Brandon McClain entered with runners on first and second and got Menke to lineout to center to earn his third save of the spring.