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March 23, 2013

Cardinals open SUNYAC play with split vs. Devils

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Feeling at least a little better about things, Plattsburgh State baseball coach Kris Doorey joked about his team’s hitting — or lack of — Friday afternoon.

“If we can keep the opponent to zero runs, we have a chance to win the game,” he said.

The Cardinals (3-8, 1-1) continued to struggle at the plate, but opened their SUNY Athletic Conference season with a doubleheader split with Fredonia (2-2, 1-1) at the RussMatt Invitational. Plattsburgh fell 5-3 in the first game and then got a solid pitching performance from Brian Burns for a 3-0 win in the second contest.

The two teams will play a 9-inning conference game today, weather permitting, before the Cardinals head home.

“If the weather is bad, we’ll stay another night and play the following day,” Doorey said.

Burns what was the doctor ordered. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out five in going the seven innings for the shutout.

“Burns was exactly what we needed,” Doorey said. “The only real time he was in trouble was in the second inning when they got a leadoff triple. But shortstop Brian Latulipe threw home on an infield grounder, and John Casten did a good job blocking the plate to get the runner out.

“They didn’t get another runner to third base.”

Plattsburgh took the lead on Shane Houppert’s run-scoring double in the second inning. Then in the third, Luke Weaver singled in a run and another runner crossed the plate on an infield error.

“We did just enough offensively,” Doorey said. “In the fourth inning, we had the bases loaded and nobody out. They brought in another pitcher, and he got two strikeouts and an infield grounder. We didn’t score.”

Mat Chavez, Weaver, Mike Mulvihill, Casten, Houppert and Jimmy Rosario accounted for the Plattsburgh hits in Game 2.

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