APPELTON, Wis. – Max Rosing’s RBI double and P.J. Rinaldi’s RBI single gave SUNY Cortland a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning and the Red Dragons held on to defeat Whitworth 5-4 in an elimination game at the Division III Baseball Championship on Monday.
John Adornetto, Andrew Pezzuto and Matt June each finished with two hits for the Red Dragons (41-8-1). Adornetto was 2-for-3 with a walk, RBI and two runs scored. Pezzuto went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored and June was 2-for-4.
Mike Hughes improved to 9-2 with the victory. He allowed three runs in the third inning as Whitworth took a 3-2 lead, but settled down to pitch four scoreless innings before giving up a run in the eighth. In 7.1 innings he allowed nine hits, three walks and four runs and struck out four.
Whitworth finishes with a 31-16-1 record on the season. JR Jarrell went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and Kevin Valerio was 2-for-4 for the Pirates. Spencer Ansett suffered the loss after allowing eight hits and two walks and all five Cortland runs in 6.1 innings of work.
Cortland took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as it scored in the opening inning for the third consecutive game. Pezzuto reached on a one-out bunt single and took second on a wild pitch. Adornetto walked and Pezzuto advanced to third on a Rosing flyout. After Adornetto stole second, Michael LaTempa hit a two-run single to left.
Hughes escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the second after getting a groundout to end the inning. In the third, however, Gerhard Muelheims walked with one out and Tyler Pfeffer hit an RBI double to right center. Landon Scott drew a walk and Jarrell singled to right center to drive in Pfeffer with the tying run. Scott went to third on the hit and scored on Joshua Davis’ squeeze bunt to give the Pirates the lead. Davis was safe on an error on the play, but Hughes induced an inning-ending double play to escape further damage.
Cortland started its two-run rally in the sixth with an Adornetto bunt single. On a hit-and-run, Rosing doubled to right center to plate Adornetto with the tying run. Rosing went to third on a LaTempa groundout and scored on Rinaldi’s single to shallow right field.
The Red Dragons added a key insurance run in the seventh. Pezzuto doubled to left center with one out and scored on Adornetto’s single up the middle. That run proved to be the winning run as Whitworth scored once in the eighth. Scott hit a one-out single and scored on a Jarrell double to right center. Brendan Hourihan relieved Hughes at that point and got Davis to ground out to first, with Jarrell moving to third. Kevin Valerio then lined out to center to end the inning.
Tom Nagy entered to start the top of the ninth and walked Paul Miller, the leadoff batter. The walk was only Nagy’s third walk issued in 14-plus innings this season. Ryan Beecroft bunted Miller to second, but Nagy struck out the next batter and induced a groundout to second to end the game for his fourth save of the spring.