ITHACA — The Plattsburgh State baseball team was competitive with the No. 7-ranked Division III team in the country on Monday.
Not good enough, however.
Cortland (16-4, 5-0) swept an 8-7 and 4-0 doubleheader from the Cardinals (7-12, 2-3) in SUNY Athletic Conference play at Cornell University.
“We proved that we can play with them,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “But there are no moral victories for us — we lost two games in the conference standings.”
In the opener, the Red Dragons’ Brandon Serio held the Cardinals to just one hit over the first seven innings.
Cortland scored four runs in the bottom of the first and added unearned runs in the sixth and seventh for a 6-0 lead.
The Cardinals, however, knocked Serio out of the game in the eighth and did some damage against the Cortland bullpen to rally for seven runs and take a 7-6 advantage.
“We were able to get some big hits,” Doorey said. “(Nick) Lupo had a two-run double, (Frank) Buksa a two-run triple and (Chris) Pescetti a RBI single.
“We had an opportunity for more, but couldn’t keep it going. Up until the eighth inning, we didn’t do anything offensively.”
Had Plattsburgh been able to hold on for the win, it would have been a huge confidence booster for the team.
But Cortland tied the game in the bottom of the eighth and then won it with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
“We should have won the first game,” Doorey said. “But we didn’t do enough offensively, even though we bunched enough hits together to score seven runs in the eighth inning.
“I think that after we took the lead, our players got nervous about being ahead of Cortland and that got into their mindset. We weren’t able to get over the hump and win the game.