ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Ithaca won its biggest games of the season with a doubleheader sweep of 14th-ranked St. John Fisher on Saturday afternoon at Dugan Yard. Saturday's two wins combined with Friday's split gave Ithaca a series win against the Cardinals and the Bombers improved their overall record to 22-7 on the year. St. John Fisher fell to 20-5. Ithaca is 10-2 in Empire 8 play and St. John Fisher is 3-3.
No. 25 Ithaca 6, No. 14 St. John Fisher 5
The lead changed three times before Ithaca came out on top in the first game of the doubleheader, behind a four-run fifth inning rally.
Ithaca trailed 3-2 headed to the top of the fifth before breaking through for four runs. Cooper Belyea drew a leadoff walk, Christian Brown singled and a double steal moved the runners to second and third. Luke Stark hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game and then Tim Henry singled to bring in Brown with the go-ahead run. Colby Gee reached on an error to put two men on board, and then with two outs Zach Cole and Matt Connolly delivered RBI singles to put Ithaca ahead 6-3.
Andrew Sanders started for the Bombers and pitched into the fourth inning. Jimmy Wagner took over and earned the win to improve to 4-0 on the season. St. John Fisher scratched out single runs in the bottom of the sixth and bottom of the seventh. The last-inning threat ended with the potential tying run on second base when Wagner induced a ground out.
Ithaca took the early lead with two runs in the third inning. The first run came in on a double steal and the second on a sacrifice fly by Luke Stark. Fisher went ahead 3-2 with a run in the third and two in the fourth to set up Ithaca's decisive fifth inning.
Brown and Connolly had two hits each for Ithaca and Henry, Stephen Yanchus and Zach Cole had one hit each. Stark had two RBIs, both via sacrifice fly, and Brown and Belyea scored two runs each.
Sanders allowed three runs, all earned in three and two-thirds innings of work on five hits with three walks. Wagner allowed six hits and one walk with five strikeouts in three and a third.
No. 25 Ithaca 7, No. 14 St. John Fisher 6
Ithaca made a late comeback and then held on for an extra-inning win in the second game of the doubleheader. The Bombers trailed by two headed to the ninth inning, and then carried leads into the bottom of the ninth, bottom of the 10th and then closed it out in the 11th inning to claim the doubleheader sweep and series victory against Fisher.
St. John Fisher scored two in the first and one in the third to build a 3-0 lead. Ithaca answered with a run in the fifth, but the Cardinals scored in the bottom of the inning to re-establish a three-run advantage. Ithaca got a single run in the sixth to make it 4-2, and then broke through with three runs in the top of the ninth.
The ninth-inning rally started with a single and two walks. A sacrifice fly by Josh Savacool made it 4-3, and a single by Cooper Belyea re-loaded the bases. Christian Brown then hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. With two outs, Steven Yanchus walked and an infield error then allowed the go-ahead run to score. Fisher answered with a run in the bottom of the ninth on a wild pitch.
In the 10th, Ithaca started with a leadoff double by Zach Cole and he moved up to third on an infield ground out. Matt Connolly then singled in Cole. Fisher again rallied and took advantage of a two-out error by the Bombers that allowed the tying run to score.
The decisive 11th-inning run came on a wild pitch by the Cardinals with the bases loaded.
Ithaca's fifth-inning run came on an RBI groundout by Savacool to bring home Luke Stark. In the sixth, a two-out rally produced three consecutive singles and Tim Henry scored on the base hit by Cole.
Cole and Belyea had three hits each for Ithaca and Savacool had two RBIs. David Jasukonis, Zach Pidgeon and Brandon Diorio divided the first 10 innings, with Diorio getting the victory. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in three innings. He had one strikeout. Logan Barer pitched the bottom of the 11th to get the save. He allowed a hit, but had two strikeouts.