THOMASVILLE, NC (www.OLDWESTBURYPANTHERS.com) - The SUNY College at Old Westbury baseball team completed a season opening four-game series with the Frostburg State Bobcats Sunday afternoon in Thomasville, North Carolina, falling in games three and four by the final counts of 4-1 and 15-8, respectively. Old Westbury now stands at 0-4 to open the young season as the Bobcats jump out to a 4-0 start.
In Sunday's opener, Jacob Coners continued to play the role of table setter with a leadoff single in the first inning. Two batters later, Coners stole second base before being stranded to end the threat. For the third straight game, Old Westbury broke the scoring ice to grab an early lead. With two outs in the second inning, Tommy Ziegen delivered his first career hit, a single, knocking home Brandon Stein for a 1-0 lead. Old Westbury's offense then failed to produce a hit after Ziegen's RBI single as Frostburg State capitalized by evening the score in the bottom of the second with a run scoring double by Zach Weiss. Panther starter Christopher Vitale struck out three batters in the first two frames and tallied a pair of strikeouts in both the third and fourth innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Kam Stewart drove a two-run double to center field for a 3-1 Bobcat lead. Stewart advanced to third off a wild pitch followed by a Kevin Kean run scoring single to end Vitale's day.
Vitale (0-1) took Old Westbury's loss, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks despite fanning seven batters in 4.1 innings. Vitale's seven strikeouts tied a career-high set on March 9, 2012 vs. Yeshiva. Panther relievers Braylin Perez, Tyler Levine andNick Dorcean combined to toss 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. Ryan Redinger (1-0) racked up seven strikeouts in a complete game outing for the Bobcats.
In the finale, Frostburg State posted four runs in the opening frame off starter Frank DiMaria. The Panthers had DiMaria's back in the top of the second, scoring four runs on five hits to knot the game at 4-all. With two outs, Ziegen drove a single up the middle to score Christian Faust and Kevin Licul. A single by Mike Cardino set the stage for Coners, who scored Ziegen off a single to left. Nick Yip then stepped to the plate to deliver a run scoring single that allowed Cardino to cross the plate for the game tying run.
Unfortunately, the offensive efforts were trumped in the third inning when the Bobcats tacked five runs on the board to end DiMaria's day. Frostburg State added three more runs off reliever Tyler Kapela in the fourth and three off James Scagnelli in the fifth before Old Westbury answered with two runs in the sixth off a two-run double by Faust. The Panthers continued to show some fight in the late innings. Down 15-6, Old Westbury scored two more runs in the seventh via RBI doubles by Ziegen and Cardino, but in the end, the deficit proved to be too much to overcome.
Offensively, Ziegen (2-3, 3 RBI, 2 R) and Cardino (2-2, 2 R, RBI) carried the Panthers with their first career hits, resulting in multi-hit performances.
Ricky Brady paced the Bobcats with a 4-for-4 game at the plate, including two home runs and six RBI.
DiMaria (0-1) was saddled with the loss, allowing seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in two innings of work. James Wipperman tallied two strikeouts and closed out the final 1.1 innings to tame the Frostburg State offense. Nick Huff (1-0) tossed two innings of scoreless baseball and was credited with the win in relief of Ryan Callahan
#4 ITHACA BOMBERS AND BARUCH BEARCATS UP NEXT FOR THE PANTHERS: Old Westbury returns to the diamond on Saturday (March 1) for a pair of games starting with #4 Ithaca Bombers at 10:30 a.m. before taking on the Baruch Bearcats at 1:30 p.m. from Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, New York.
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