March 20, 2013

Cards struggle at plate in split


---- — AUBURNDALE, Fla. — The Plattsburgh State baseball team couldn’t get it going enough offensively Tuesday afternoon and split a doubleheader with Hamilton College at the RussMatt Invitational.

The Cardinals (2-6) pulled out a 3-2 victory in the opener before falling 5-2 in the nightcap.

“Some guys are not making the adjustments at the plate,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “They’re doing the same things over and over, and at some point you have to adjust.

“We have some younger players who are facing better pitching, but some of our veteran players are also struggling at the plate. We don’t have many players who are hitting well right now.

“We want to keep the game close, like we did today, and we’re supposed to win games like these.”

In the first game, the Cardinals scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the 1-0 lead held up until the seventh inning behind the pitching of Marc Plante.

An infield error to open the seventh, however, gave the Continentals life, and Nick Taylor followed with a run-scoring double to tie it. That was it for Plante, and Steven Corea took over.

Corea got the next two batters, but Sam Fuentes singled in Taylor to give Hamilton a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Mike Mulvihill walked and Jimmy Rosario pinch-ran for him. John Casten then reached on an infield error while sacrificing, and Chris Pescetti bunted the runners to second and third.

Mike Vargues suicide-squeezed home the tying run, and Nicholas Lupo’s two-out, run-scoring single drove in the game-winner.

Plante, in pitching into the seventh, allowed four hits, walked three and struck out two. Corea ended up getting the win.

“Plante gave us a great pitching performance, especially after how he pitched in his first start this season,” Doorey said.” It’s too bad he didn’t get the win.”

Plattsburgh managed just three hits, with Lupo getting two and Brian Latulipe one.

Jonathan Lane went the distance in taking the hard-luck loss.

In the second game, the Continentals (3-1) held a 3-2 lead going into an eventful fifth inning.

In the top of the fifth, the Cardinals got the tying run to third and the go-ahead run to second with two out. But Luke Weaver struck out to end the threat.

In the home half of the inning, reliever Mike Doughtie retired the first two batters before Gabe Klein walked. Tim Burke then rapped a two-run homer to give Hamilton a 5-2 lead.

“Doughtie got the first two outs of the inning and then walked the guy,” Doorey said. “He got ahead of the next hitter, 1-and-2, and then hung a curveball and he hit it out.

“But it’s tough to pitch when you have to be perfect and we’re not scoring enough runs.”

Plattsburgh got two runners aboard in the seventh. But reliever Mike Williams, who recorded the save while striking out five in two innings, fanned the game’s final batter.

“We had 10 strikeouts in all in the second game and that’s unacceptable,” Doorey said. “Their last pitcher didn’t throw hard.

“If we would have put the ball in play more, we would have won the game. We felt they would make mistakes. But we didn’t get enough offense.”

Steve Wright picked up the win, and Plattsburgh starter Colin Crawford, who couldn’t get out of the third inning, took the loss.

Shane Houppert paced the Cardinals with two hits, while Mat Chavez and Latulipe each doubled. Plattsburgh finished with six hits in all.

The Cardinals are off today before opposing Framingham State in a doubleheader on Thursday.

Plattsburgh 3, Hamilton 2

Hamilton 000 000 2 — 2 5 3

Plattsburgh 000 100 2 — 3 3 2

Lane and Bridenbeck. Plante, Corea (7) and Brighton. WP- Corea. LP- Lane. 2B- Taylor (Ham).

Hamilton 5, Plattsburgh 2

Plattsburgh 001 100 0 — 2 6 1

Hamilton 021 020 x — 5 5 0

Crawford, Doughtie (3), Orr (6) and Briggs. Wright, Moriarty (5), Williams (6) and Reinhold. WP- Wright. LP- Crawford. Sv- Williams. 2B- Chavez (PSU), Latulipe (PSU), Becker (Ham). 3B- Klein (Ham). HR- Burke (Ham).