---- — BROCKPORT — The Plattsburgh State baseball team’s offense woke up with 17 hits on Sunday.
But it took Steven Corea’s relief work to seal the deal in the Cardinals’ 9-8 victory at The College of Brockport in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
Plattsburgh (9-16, 4-8) kept its conference tournament hopes alive by taking two of three from the Golden Eagles (13-12, 4-9) over the weekend.
“By far, this is our biggest win of the season, especially emotionally,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “We took the early lead, fell behind and then came back to win it. That should give our players the belief they can win games like this.
“We’re still alive in the conference.”
The Cardinals jumped out to a 6-1 lead before the Golden Eagles rallied to take an 8-6 advantage with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth.
“The coaching staff was pretty nervous when they took the 8-6 lead,” Doorey said. “It was like, ‘Here we go again.’”
But Corea, who took over in relief in the fifth, slammed the door on Brockport the rest of the way to pick up the win. In 4.2 innings, Corea allowed one hit, walked one, struck out four and did not allow any runs.
“He retired 10 batters in a row at one time and allowed only the one walk when he came into the game,” Doorey said. “It makes it a lot easier when you don’t walk people. Steven was awesome. He did what he needed to do and was exactly what we needed.”
The Cardinals chipped away with a run in the sixth and one more in the seventh to tie it before scoring the game-winning run in the top of the ninth.
Mike Vargues led off the inning with a double to left field, was sacrificed to third by John Casten and came across to score on a passed ball.
“Getting the sacrifice bunt down was big for us,” Doorey said. “Then I felt comfortable that they were expecting us to try and squeeze the run home. The pitch was a little outside and it got by the catcher.”
Corea then preserved the victory by setting Brockport down in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Brian Latulipe, Mike Mulvihill, Vargues and Casten paced the Cardinals with three hits each, while Chris Pescetti and Shane Houppert each added two, with both of Houppert’s hits being doubles.
“It was nice to get the bats going early,” Doorey said. “I think we had 11 hits in the first four innings. We had some runners thrown out on the bases, but we were being overaggressive on some things. That’s the way we need to be.
“We had some players hit the ball the way they’re capable of. Players like Mike Vargues stepped it up for us.”
Mike Doughtie got the pitching start for the Cardinals and gave way to Corey Grossman in the fourth.
“We put Mike in a tough spot today,” Doorey said. “He’s not used to starting, but felt he could do it. And Corey just didn’t have it today.”
Jake Coleman, Nick Bunce, Zack Lander and Wesley Burghardt led the Golden Eagles with two hits each, with Bunce homering. Brockport used five pitchers, with Ethan Selby getting the loss in relief.
The Cardinals return to the road this coming weekend for a three-game conference set at New Paltz.
But before that, Plattsburgh plays non-conference contests at St. Lawrence University on Tuesday (4 p.m.) and at Norwich University on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.).
Plattsburgh 9, Brockport 8
Plattsburgh 210 301 101 — 9 17 1
Brockport 100 430 000 — 8 9 3
Doughtie, Grossman (4), Corea (5) and Casten. M. Coleman, Clifford (3), Stankiewicz (4), Selby (7), McCarthy (9) and Bunce. WP- Corea. LP- Selby. 2B- Houppert (PSU) 2, Pescetti (PSU), Vargues (PSU). HR- Bunce (Brock).