BROCKPORT — Thanks to Brian Burns, the Plattsburgh State baseball team’s slim hopes of making the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament are still alive.
Burns went the distance for the pitching win in the second game Saturday as the Cardinals edged out a 3-2 victory in eight innings over Brockport on Luke Weaver’s run-scoring single in the top of the eighth.
The win gave Plattsburgh (8-16, 3-8 SUNYAC) a split of the doubleheader after the Golden Eagles (13-11, 4-8) rolled to a 10-1 win in the first game.
The weather cooperated Saturday with the teams able to get in the two contests, leaving a noon single game today to close out the weekend set.
“We’re still alive,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “But we need to win tomorrow (today).”
Burns allowed four hits and two unearned runs, walked four and struck out six in going the eight innings in the second game. Plattsburgh prevailed despite making four errors.
Burns preserved a 2-all tie by escaping a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the fifth inning by inducing two infield pops and an infield grounder.
“Burns pitched the heck out of the ball,” Doorey said. “He continues to be a guy who we assume will keep the game close for us when he’s on the mound and give us an opportunity to win.
“He had to work out of a couple of jams, one being with the bases loaded and nobody out. That was huge for us because we had just tied the game with two runs in the top of the inning. We get two runs back and then hand them a rally. The wheels could have come off right there, and Brian made some good pitches.”
The Golden Eagles took the lead with two runs in the third without the benefit of a hit on an error, hit batsman, walk, a hit batsman to force in a run and a walk to force in another.
Plattsburgh, however, drew even in the fifth on John Casten’s sacrifice fly and a double steal that resulted in the tying run scoring.
It stayed that way until the eighth when Shane Houppert singled with one out and Casey Brighton sacrificed. That was it for Brockport starter Travis Renwick, and reliever Justin McCarthy was greeted by Weaver’s RBI single up the middle.
Burns then set the side down in order in the home half of the inning.
“We don’t win this game without Brian’s pitching,” Doorey said. “We didn’t do enough offensively. But it was great for Weaver to get a big hit for us at the end.”
Both teams finished with just four hits, with nobody on either side getting two.
In the opener, the Golden Eagles jumped all over Plattsburgh starter Marc Plante for a 9-1 lead through four. Plante surrendered nine earned runs on eight hits and five walks.
Reliever Scott Orr limited Brockport to just a run over the next four innings, but the horse was already out of the barn.
“Marc just wasn’t good today, and we don’t have the type of team to overcome a bad start like that,” Doorey said. “We’re not built to overcome that kind of deficit.
“Orr pitched very well in relief for us.”
Nick Bunce rapped a grand slam and finished with two hits, along with Wesley Burghardt and Mike Weakley, to lead the Golden Eagles’ 10-hit attack. Seven of the hits went for extra bases, including a home run and six doubles.
James Bardenett was the winning pitcher and limited the Cardinals to four hits over the first seven innings. One was an RBI double by Nicholas Lupo in the third inning. Leading Plattsburgh, which had six hits in all, was Chris Pescetti with two singles.
“They had a 2-1 lead in the third inning when we had runners on second and third, with two out,” Doorey said. “If we get a hit there, we take a 3-2 lead and that gives us a change in momentum.
“We’re not getting the clutch hits in the middle of the game when we can grab the momentum. We’re still our own worst enemy — we had a couple of runners picked off base today.”
Brockport 10, Plattsburgh 1
Plattsburgh 001 000 000 — 1 6 0
Brockport 022 500 01x — 10 10 0
Plante, Orr (5) and Brighton. Bardenett, Driesel (8), Montross (9) and Bunce. WP- Bardenett. LP- Plante. 2B- Lupo (PSU), Bunce (Brock), Weakley (Brock) 2, Hurlimnn (Brock), Gianni (Brock), Hamula (Brock). HR- Bunce (Brock).
Plattsburgh 3, Brockport 2 (8)
Plattsburgh 000 020 01 — 3 4 4
Brockport 002 000 00 — 2 4 1
Burns and Casten. Renwick, McCarthy (8) and Peake. WP- Burns. LP- Renwick.