FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Plattsburgh State baseball team received the pitching and defense it needed on Friday — and barely enough hitting.
Mike Vargues turned a splendid relief effort on the mound and the Cardinals scored the game-winning run on a botched suicide-squeeze attempt in a 3-2 victory over Fredonia in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
The Cardinals (6-8, 2-1 SUNYAC) took two of three games from the Blue Devils in the two-day set to open both teams’ conference season.
“We’ll take it,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “It wasn’t pretty, especially on offense.
“But our goal is to make the conference tournament, and winning the two out of three from Fredonia gives us the tie-breaker edge over them. Also, it should give us some confidence.”
Ricky Mendiola’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning gave Fredonia (5-7, 1-2) a 2-1 lead.
Things then got a little crazy in the top of the sixth.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with nobody out, but the Blue Devils got a force at the plate for the first out.
With Plattsburgh struggling offensively, Doorey went to small ball, and Chris Pescetti executed a suicide-squeeze bunt to drive in the tying run. Pescetti was retired at first for the second out, leaving runners on second and third.
“Coach Doorey then got a little crazy,” Doorey said. “I decided to bunt Luke Weaver on a suicide squeeze with two out, thinking he could beat it out and we would score the lead run. But he bunted through the ball.
“Nick Lupo was running home, and their catcher got his feet tangled on the play, while never tagging Lupo. So Nick ended up stealing home.”
Vargues, who took over for starter Scott Orr in the sixth, went the final four innings and retired all 12 batters he faced to earn the save. He struck out two.