By David Spiegel
NEWBURGH – With much of the team missing in action on Wednesday, the Mount Saint Mary College baseball team (13-20) fought hard, but fell to the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) champion and nationally ranked No. 5 SUNY Cortland (31-8), 9-3, at the Mount in the Knights’ season finale.
The NCAA Tournament-bound Red Dragons started off slow with just a run in the first to take an early 1-0. They added another in the third to go up by two before picking up two in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead. An RBI double by Bryan Marotta in the sixth put the visitors up by five. Chris Jackson tripled to right to put the Red Dragons up 6-0 in the seventh, and then he scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael DeCarr to put Cortland up by seven.
The Knights finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh with a hit from an unexpected batter. Senior pitcher Michael Klein picked up a stick for the first time this season, and stroked a two-RBI single with the bases loaded to cut the deficit to five runs. Freshman shortstop Jimmy Papineau plated another run on a bases-loaded infield single to cut the Red Dragon lead to 7-3 after seven innings.
Marotta knocked in another run with a double in the ninth, and then Austin Clock blasted a ground-rule double to right to bring in another to put the Red Dragons up by the final score of 9-3.
Zach Ferris picked up the win for the Red Dragons as the pitcher of record when the Red Dragons took the lead. He allowed just one hit in two innings of work. Freshman pitcher C.J. Szczesny pitched well, but suffered the loss after yielding four earned runs on six hits in six innings of work.
Marotta went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI to lead the Red Dragons to victory on Wednesday. Jackson and Vinny Bomasuto each hit a triple with an RBI and a run.
Papineau led the way with a 2-for-4 effort for the Knights while knocking in a run. Senior outfielder Angelo Biondo hit 1-for-4 with a double that short-hopped the wall in deep left field. Klein went 1-for-2 in his only two at-bats of the season with two RBI. Freshman second baseman Anthony Delisio went 1-for-1 after coming into the game in the seventh inning.
The Knights conclude their season with a 13-20 overall record. Senior Vinnie Carminati and sophomore James Nakashian (Massapequa, N.Y.) were both named to the All-Skyline First Team, while sophomore Brandon Lubrano earned Second-Team distinction. Freshman Kevin Duffy (Wallingford, Conn.) was named the 2014 Skyline Baseball Rookie of the Year.