Wildcats Split with Utica behind Complete Game Shutout from Mike Rose

MARCY, N.Y. – On a beautiful (finally!) Wednesday afternoon in Marcy, N.Y., the SUNYIT Wildcats (9-15, 2-6 NEAC) hosted the Pioneers of Utica College (2-14) for a doubleheader, dropping the first game 5-3 before rebounding with a 6-0 win in game two.

GAME 1…Utica 5, SUNYIT 3

Unlike the day's second game, in Wednesday's first game errors cost the 'Cats dearly. Of the 5 runs plated by the Pioneers, only 1 was earned. Starting pitcher Joe Szepessy (Athens, N.Y. / Coxsackie-Athens H.S.) pitched a solid 5 and 2/3 innings, with just one of the 4 runs he gave up on the day falling in the "earned" column, but ended up taking another tough loss.

While the Wildcats were unable to come up with the sort of timely hitting necessary to plate a few more runs, second baseman Jim Sass (Kingston, N.Y. / Kingston H.S.) had a career day at the plate, knocking out three hits on four at-bats and leading SUNYIT with 2 RBI's.

GAME 2…SUNYIT 6, Utica 0

Senior lefty Michael Rose (Chatham, N.Y. / Chatham H.S.) dominated game two on the mound for the Wildcats, scattering 8 hits while walking none and striking out one. Rose delivered a textbook example of "pitching to contact," pounding the zone with strikes and letting the Pioneer hitters do the rest of the work.

No doubt "Rosie" was aided by a SUNYIT defense that has struggled at times this year, but was flawless in Wednesday's second game. The error free day featured a perfectly executed first-and-third play by the Wildcats. With Pioneer runners at first and third and just one out, SUNYIT catcher Anthony Ragosta (Troy, N.Y. / Troy H.S.) fired down to second base on the steal attempt by Utica. On the throw, the runner from third made for home, but SUNYIT second baseman Jim Sass (Kingston, N.Y. / Kingston H.S.) came off the bag to cut the throw off, and then fired back to home to nab the runner and save a run. After getting the pick-me-up from his team, Rose proceeded to return the favor with a strikeout to end the inning.

For the Wildcat bats, things really got going in the bottom of the third inning. Game two shortstop Jhomel Solano (Bronx, N.Y. / Cristo Rey H.S.) led off the inning with a double to center field, and then scored on a Jim Sass single to center. As it turns out, the run was all the Wildcats would need – however, SUNYIT would add three more in the inning, as Ryan Wegner came up with a two out, 2-RBI base hit to put the Wildcats up 4-0.

Also contributing offensively for SUNYIT in the second game was centerfielder Ryan Dungey (Vernon, N.Y. / VVS H.S.), who finished 3-for-4 with 2 RBI's.