#8 Cortland Earns Win and Tie at #22 Salisbury

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SALISBURY, MD. – Cortland, ranked eighth nationally in Division III, picked up a win and a tie at 22nd-ranked Salisbury University in a non-league doubleheader. The Red Dragons won the first game, 6-0, behind a combined shutout from Matt Valin (LaFargeville) and Dan Hobbs (Saratoga Springs), and the teams played to a 3-3 deadlock in the second game before the contest was called due to darkness after the 12th inning. The tie game is Cortland's first since a 10-10 verdict at Ithaca during the 2012 season.
Cortland (1-2-1) will play Penn St. Abington in a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Maine-Endwell High School in Endwell, N.Y.
Cortland 6, Salisbury 0
Valin and Hobbs allowed only a combined four hits and one walk and struck out seven batters in the opening-game victory. Valin earned the victory with five innings of two-hit ball with four strikeouts and a walk. Hobbs picked up a save after giving up two hits with no walks and three strikeouts over the final four innings.
Cortland took a 2-0 lead in the first on a Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon) leadoff double, a passed ball, a Colin BeVard (Syracuse/West Genesee) RBI groundout and a Danny Coleman (Saratoga Springs) solo homer. The Red Dragons added two in the second to go up 4-0. Sam Kippen (Lyncourt/Solvay) was hit by a pitch, James Varian (Hopewell Junction/Trinity-Pawling) singled, and Dan Schweitzer (Poughquag/Arlington) bunted for a single to load the bases. Giordano drove in a run with a groundout and the second run scored on a balk.
Varian's RBI single in the third extended the lead to 5-0, and the Red Dragons added a run in the sixth on a Mat Bruno (Rye) pinch-hit RBI single. Cortland missed on other scoring opportunities in the game as the Red Dragons finished with 14 hits but left 13 runners on base. Varian finished 4-for-5 with an RBI, Schweitzer and Wyatt Myers (Chittenango) each went 2-for-4 and Joe Tardif (Cutchogue/Mattituck) was 2-for-5.
Brad Haas went 3-for-3 to account for all but one of Salisbury's four hits. The Sea Gulls got runners into scoring position in three innings but stranded Haas on second in the third inning, runners on first and second in the fifth, and runners on second and third in the eighth after singles by Haas and Cameron Hyder and a sac bunt.
Clayton Dwyer, the first of six Salisbury pitchers, allowed six hits and five runs, four earned, with no walks in three innings. He struck out three batters.
Cortland 3, Salisbury 3 (tie) (12 inn.)
Cortland rallied to tie the game in the top of the ninth and held off three Salisbury threats in extra innings before the game was called.
Down 3-2, Cortland began its ninth-inning rally with one-out walks from pinch hitter Steven Salisbury (Cranston, RI/Moses Brown) and Schweitzer. A flyout created the second out but allowed Salisbury to move to third, and Tardif singled through the left side to drive home the tying run.
Salisbury (3-1-1) had runners on first and second with one out in the 10th before a flyout and fielder's choice ended the inning. The Sea Gulls' best chance to win the game came in the 11th. Jay Perry walked and was bunted to second. After an intentional walk to Ron Villone Cortland got a flyout for the second out, but Haas walked to load the bases. Chris Puzakulics (Vestal) entered to pitch and went to a 3-0 count on Jack Berry before eventually getting him to hit into a fielder's choice force at second to end the inning. Salisbury also had runners on first and second with one out in the 12th on an error, a wild pitch and a one-out intentional walk before two flyouts ended the inning and the game.
Cortland was held hitless for four innings by Salisbury starter Daniel Frake, who struck out five and walked two. The Red Dragons, however, greeted reliever Jason McDonough in the fifth with a Bruno infield single, a Paul Franzese (Somers) single, a Garrett Hunter (Virginia Beach, VA/Frank W. Cox) sac bunt and a Varian pinch-hit RBI groundout.
Salisbury scored all three of its runs in the doubleheader in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Villone led off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt and scored on a Haas single to center. Barry walked and Brandon Bonesteel cleared the bases with a two-run double down the left field line.
The Red Dragons pulled to within 3-2 in the seventh. Franzese singled and Hunter was hit by a pitch. Salisbury's catcher tried a pickoff throw to second, but Franzese read the play and stole third on the play, and he scored on Giordano's sac fly to center.
Cortland finished with six hits, led by Franzese's 2-for-5 effort, and the Red Dragons also drew seven walks. Tardif was 1-for-4 with two walks and Bruno finished 1-for-3. Perry went 2-for-3 with a walk as the Sea Gulls, who finished with five hits and also drew seven walks.
Zack Durant (Verona/V-V-S) started for Cortland and allowed only two hits and one run over four and a third innings. He struck out three and did not walk anyone. The Red Dragons used seven relievers in the game. Nick Morena (Holbrook/Sachem North) allowed just one hit and one walk with one strikeout in three scoreless innings and Jake Casey (Homer) pitched two hitless and scoreless frames with one walk and two strikeouts. John Reda (Mahopac) entered one out into the 10th and gave up no hits and two walks in an inning and a third. Shane Mugnolo (Howard Beach/Xaverian) pitched a scoreless 12th inning to keep the game tied.