ITHACA, N.Y. – The SUNY Poly Baseball Team (4-7) put together a great effort against one of the best teams in the country on Wednesday afternoon, giving the Red Dragons of Cortland State (16-1) a run for their money in an 8-6 non-league loss.
Cortland put two runs on the board in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead. The Wildcats responded with a run in the 3rd on an RBI single by Josh Rodriguez. Rodriguez finished the game with a pair of RBIs.
The Red Dragons extended their lead with 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. Justin Teague got things started with a 2-RBI single to left field. Cortland pieced together their remaining 3 runs in the inning on a bases-loaded walk, a fielder's choice, and a wild pitch.
The Wildcats were undeterred despite being down 7-1 to the #2 ranked team in the country. SUNY Poly scored three runs in the top of the 5th as Rodriguez yielded another RBI single, followed by Gerald Milanes bringing in two more with a base hit to left.
With single runs in the 6th and 8th inning, SUNY Poly entered the bottom of the 8th down just 7-6 and closing fast. The Red Dragons were able to push one insurance run across, however, on a Connor Griffin RBI. Junior Travis Laitar came on for the save in the 9th, striking out two and walking one to give Cortland an 8-6 victory.
Rodriguez and Milanes tied for the team lead in RBI with two apiece. Raymond Kelly also contributed an RBI while scoring twice himself, and leadoff batter Ray Smith went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Joseph Redmond battled through 4 innings to take the loss for the Wildcats. The senior right-hander gave up 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 2. Sawyer Haney did a nice job in relief, allowing a single run in 4 innings while striking out 6.
The Red Dragons threw several pitchers at the Wildcats, with Zach Ferris picking up the win after starting the game and throwing 4 innings of 1-run ball.
SUNY Poly's doubleheader at Medaille this Friday has been postponed, as has the home doubleheader versus Cazenovia scheduled for this Saturday. The team is scheduled to travel south to Lancaster Bible College after that for an April 10th doubleheader.