EPHRATA, PA. - After a rain soaked Friday and Saturday caused the NEAC Championship Baseball Tournament to be delayed and shortened, the Wildcats of SUNY Poly were eliminated in the semi-final game by top-seed Penn State Abington. The Wildcats battled the Nittany Lions to the end, but came up one run short of a win. The final score was 6-5.
The Wildcats got off to a rough start, going down in the bottom of the first after a couple of singles plated three Abington runners. The Wildcats would let up another run in the bottom of the third before answering with three runs of their own in the top of the fourth to make it a 4-3 game. Joseph Cascella (Staten Island, N.Y.), John Noone (Staten Island, N.Y.), and Raymond Smith (Staten Island, N.Y.) each had an RBI single in the inning. Cascella would tie the game in the next inning with a sacrifice fly knotting the game at 4-4. Abington however would not give in; they scored again in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. SUNY Poly would tie up the game once again in the top of the seventh inning on a squeeze attempt that ended up being both an out and a run after a throwing error plated Joshua Rodriguez (North Syracuse, N.Y.). The Wildcats got through the bottom of the seventh unscathed, but allowed what would be the game winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Wildcats had four players with multiple hits in the game. Joseph Cascella went 2-2 with two hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly, and two RBIs in the game. Raymond Smith went 2-4 with an RBI, Ryan Wegner went 2-3 with a run scored, and Joshua Rodriguez went 2-5 with a run scored. Ryan Kelly (Williston Park, N.Y.) started the game on the mound for the Wildcats. He went six innings allowing five runs and striking out three batters.
The Wildcats finished their season a little sooner than they would have hoped; however the season was yet another in a series of good seasons spanning the last five or so years. The Wildcats went 9-5 in the NEAC earning the fourth seed in the Championship Tournament. The team went 18-19 overall and had a team batting average of .292, an on base percentage of .366, and a slugging percentage of .375. The team will go into next season losing just three seniors. With the Bulk of their lineup and pitching staff returning, 2017 looks like it will be a promising year for the Wildcats.