March 22, 2013

Baseball Cardinals begin conference play


---- — WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Plattsburgh State baseball teams begins its SUNY Athletic Conference season today.

And the offensively-challenged Cardinals aren’t entering the 11 a.m. doubleheader against Fredonia with any momentum on its side.

Framingham State pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth inning Thursday and blanked Plattsburgh, 2-0, at the RussMatt Invitational.

Freshman Scott Orr gave the Cardinals (2-7) a great pitching start, but Plattsburgh ended up stranding 10 runners.

“We’re very excited about Orr, who was making his first-career start for us,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said.

Orr, who got one out in the ninth before departing, allowed three hits, no earned runs, walked one and struck out three.

But the Cardinals, who had seven hits in all, couldn’t push across any runs to support the freshman.

“We’re so tentative at the plate right now,” Doorey said. “We’re doing two of the three things we need to do right. We’re getting men on base and we’re moving them. But we’re not getting them in.

“The coaches are frustrated and I’m sure the pitching staff is frustrated. We’ve allowed more than five runs only once down here and we have to do what it takes to win these games.”

The Cardinals have a 2-5 record on their trip to Florida, with two of the losses being by one run and two others by two.

Plattsburgh had several opportunities to score, most notably in the bottom of the eighth.

A walk to Brian Latulipe and a single to right by Mike Mulvihill gave the Cardinals two men on and nobody out. The two then executed a double steal with Chris Pescetti at the plate.

But Plattsburgh had one runner cut down trying to score when the ball got by the catcher before Pescetti walked. Patrick Holden, who ended up getting the win, took over in relief for the Rams and Mike Vargues then popped up a suicide-squeeze bunt and the result was a double play to end the threat.

“We weren’t able to get anything out of that inning,” Doorey said. “But it wasn’t the only inning we had a chance to score.”

Then in the top of the ninth, the Rams got a one-out single against Orr. The next batter hit an infield grounder, but the throw to second was dropped for an error.

That was it for Orr and Brian Burns was brought in. A walk, run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly gave Framingham its two runs.

Luke Weaver and Mulvihill led the Cardinals with two hits each. Starter Dillon Corliss pitched six shutout innings for Framingham (3-6).

Fredonia opened its season Thursday with a doubleheader split with UMass-Dartmouth, a 9-8 win in the first game and a 5-4 loss in the second.

“We’re running out of bottons to push,” Doorey said. “We’re not executing, but we have to stay with it.

“Nobody was planning to lose this many games down here before we played Fredonia. We need a break of some kind — maybe an error by our opponent. Even when we hit the ball hard, our opponents’ fielders make a diving catch.”

Framingham 2, Plattsburgh 0

Framingham 000 000 002 — 2 4 2

Plattsburgh 000 000 000 — 0 7 2

Corliss, Valley (7), Holden (8) and Iasolla. Orr, Burns (9), Vargues (9) and Casten, Brighton (8). WP- Holden. LP- Orr. 2B- Mulvihill (PSU).