---- — ONEONTA — It was there for the taking Sunday.
The Plattsburgh State baseball team, in dire need of a doubleheader sweep, held on for a 6-5 victory over Oneonta in the first game, and it was tied at 1-all going into the bottom of the seventh inning in the second contest before the Red Dragons pushed across a run in the seventh and added another in the eighth for a 3-1 win and a split of their SUNY Athletic Conference twinbill.
Oneonta is now 8-13 overall and 3-1 in the conference, while Plattsburgh stands at 6-14 overall and 2-7 in league play.
“These were two good baseball games,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “We just didn’t do enough offensively to win the second game.”
In the first game, winning pitcher Brian Burns came within one out of a complete game as he allowed four hits, walked four and struck out four.
“Brian pitched extremely well before running into some trouble in the seventh inning,” Doorey said.
Plattsburgh appeared to be in good shape when it scored three runs in the top of the seventh, two on errors and one on Casey Brighton’s double, to take a 6-1 advantage into the bottom of the inning.
However, Oneonta tallied four times after two were out, including a three-run double by Chris Orlando that made it 6-5.
Reliever Corey Grossman, who picked up the save, struck out the final batter of the game with runners on first and second.
Brian Latulipe singled in a run in the third inning for Plattsburgh and John Casten singled in two more in the fourth for a 3-0 Cardinal lead.
Brighton and Casten paced Plattsburgh with two hits each, while Dean Haussel finished with two hits for Oneonta.
“We did some good things offensively in the first game,” Doorey said. “We did the little things we needed to do.
“They made a few errors, something that teams haven’t been doing against us, and we were able to take advantage. We were also able to get some key hits, and it was exciting for our team.”
In the second game, Plattsburgh starter Marc Plante walked three in the first inning while surrendering a run, but settled down after that.
“Marc did okay, despite walking six,” Doorey said.
The Cardinals drew even in the third on Mike Mulvihill’s run-scoring single.
It stayed that way until the seventh when Chris Massaroni delivered a two-out, RBI single to give the Red Dragons the lead. Then, in the eighth, Plattsburgh committed a costly error, setting up Thomas Hand’s sacrifice fly.
“We had a couple of opportunities early in the game that we didn’t take advantage of,” Doorey said. “Offensively, we didn’t do enough in the middle innings. We didn’t even have good at-bats. They had pitchers warming up in the bullpen.
“We’re down 1-0 in the eighth and we get a walk to open the inning. But we strike out trying to sacrifice bunt and then we have a runner thrown out at third trying to go from first to third on an infield grounder. We can’t do that in a 2-1 conference game.
“Then we handed them a run in the eighth to make it 3-1. There’s a big difference being down 3-1 and not 2-1 going to the the ninth.”
Winning pitcher Alex Mastrianni and Jim Hegmann, who recorded the save, held the Cardinals to just three hits. Mat Chavez rapped a double, while Latulipe and Mulvihill had singles.
Chris Massaroni led the Red Dragons with two hits.
The Cardinals have two non-conference games scheduled for this week at Chip Cummings Field — at 3:30 p.m. against Middlebury College on Tuesday and at 3:30 p.m. against Clarkson University on Wednesday — before heading out to Brockport for a three-game conference set on Friday and Saturday.
“We’ll continue to keep working and hoping things will work out for us,” Doorey said.
Plattsburgh 6, Oneonta 5
Plattsburgh 001 200 3 — 6 6 1
Oneonta 000 010 4 — 5 7 5
Burns, Corea (7), Grossman (7) and Casten. Jordan, Jones (7), McMurray (7) and C. Massaroni. WP- Burns. LP- Jordan. Sv- Grossman. 2B- Brighton (PSU), Orlando (One), Haussel (One).
Oneonta 3, Plattsburgh 1
Plattsburgh 001 000 000 — 1 3 3
Oneonta 100 000 11x — 3 5 2
Plante, Grossman (7) and Casten. Mastrianni, Hegmann (8) and Provenzano. WP- Mastrianni. LP- Plante. Sv- Hegmann. 2B- Chavez (PSU), Orlando (One).