---- — ONEONTA — This time, it was Mike Doughtie’s relief pitching which gave the Plattsburgh State men’s baseball team an opportunity to win.
But it was the same old story for the Cardinals, who struggled at the plate in a 4-2 loss at Oneonta in SUNY Athletic Conference play on Saturday.
Oneonta ace Steve Ascher went the distance for the pitching win as he surrendered one earned run, four hits, walked two and struck out seven.
“You can keep banging your head against the wall,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said, “but we’ve played 18 games and this is what our team is. That’s until we figure out a way to score more runs.
“Ascher is their best pitcher and he pitched well today.”
The Cardinals (5-13, 1-6) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Luke Weaver was hit by a pitch and later scored on Brian Latulipe’s double.
But in the home half, Ivan Plata singled and went to third when Chris Orlando reached on an error. Orlando was thrown out trying to steal second, but Chris Massaroni rapped a two-run homer to give the Red Dragons (7-12, 2-0) the lead for good.
“Conference games are going to be tight and the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win,” Doorey said. “We had a chance to turn a double play in the first inning and booted the ball.
“Kyle (Kelly) started for us and didn’t pitch well — he’s battling through an injury. He got the kid (Massaroni) 0-2 and he hung a pitch.”
In the bottom of the second, Oneonta made it 3-1 when Plata got aboard on an error and scored on Orlando’s single.
Plattsburgh got a run back in the third when J.D. Springer walked, went all the way to third on Weaver’s sacrifice bunt and came across the plate on Mat Chavez’s infield out.
When Oneonta got its leadoff batter aboard in the home half, that was it for Kelly, who gave way to Doughtie.
Doughtie, with the help of an Oneonta runner being thrown out at the plate in the seventh inning, blanked the hosts until the eighth when Thomas Hand homered to give the Red Dragons a 4-2 lead.
Doughtie allowed six hits, one run, did not walk anyone and struck out three in going six innings.
“Doughtie pitched great — he made the one mistake to the kid (Hand) in the eighth inning, who hit it out,” Doorey said. “What can you do?”
Plata led the Red Dragons with three hits, while Massaroni and Jake Robinson added two each in an 11-hit attack.
Latulipe, Weaver, Casey Brighton and Nicholas Lupo accounted for the lone Plattsburgh hits.
“These are the types of games we want to play,” Doorey said. “We just don’t get enough offense. When we had the opportunities offensively, we did the right things. We just didn’t get enough opportunities. We’ll continue to try and figure it out.
“We had some bad calls that went against us. One was a balk call on Kyle when he stepped back off the rubber and looked to first. But things like that happen to you when it’s going bad.”
The two teams will play the second and third contests of the weekend set, beginning at noon today.
“We can’t give away free runs,” Doorey said. “We have to understand how important the baseball is on defense.”
Oneonta 4, Plattsburgh 2
PSU 101 000 000 — 2 4 2
Oneonta 210 000 01x — 4 11 0
Kelly, Doughtie (3) and Casten. Ascher and Massaroni. WP- Ascher. LP- Kelly. 2B- Latulipe (PSU), Peluso (One). HR- Massaroni (One), Hand (One).