By JOHN CORYER
---- — PLATTSBURGH — It hasn’t been the type of season the Plattsburgh State baseball team was hoping for in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
The bounce of the ball hasn’t gone the Cardinals’ way in a 4-11 conference campaign that ends with a three-game set against Oswego at Chip Cummings Field this weekend.
The two teams play a single game today at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday.
“We’ll keep trying to play the game the right way and try to win,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “We’ve lost six close conference games this season, and if we would have executed better in those games, we might have won them.
“We didn’t have a good beginning to the season, and this is a chance to show what we’re capable of doing. We want to show what happened earlier in the season is not an indication of what kind of team we have.”
Plattsburgh, which is 11-20 overall following a couple of nonconference home victories over Skidmore and Union this week, was eliminated from SUNYAC Tournament consideration after dropping three games at New Paltz last weekend.
The young Plattsburgh team will be looking to end its conference season on a positive note against an Oswego team that has already clinched one of the four playoffs spots in the SUNYAC.
“Oswego is already in the playoffs, and this is a good test to see where we are,” Doorey said. “These games we play at the end of the season are about teaching and learning how to win.
“We’ve played well of late, and a good weekend would give us a positive outlook to next year in the conference. I don’t think our younger players knew what they were getting into when the season started, and they have a better understanding now.
“We’re doing a better job not worrying about things now. We just need to go out there and play the game.”
The Lakers (18-13, 9-6) advanced to the conference playoffs with last weekend’s three-game home sweep of Fredonia, winning by 7-5, 10-5 and 3-1 scores.
Mike McMullen (.344) and Brian Hamilton (.341) are the leading hitters for the Lakers, while Dan Erne (4-1, 1.64 ERA) and Adam Bishop (2-2, 2.51) have been the most effective pitchers for Oswego.
“The biggest difference for Oswego is that they’re playing better defensively,” Doorey said. “They’ve hit the ball well at times.
“This is the first time they’ve made it to the conference playoffs in 12 years, and they look like they’re here to stay.”
Brian Latulipe (.305) is the only Plattsburgh player batting over .300, while Chris Pescetti (.286) has been a hot hitter of late.
Brian Burns (5-2, 2.64) has been the best Plattsburgh pitcher this season and will look to add another conference win over the weekend.
“Brian is going to start one of the games,” Doorey said. “We’re not sure who’s going to be pitching the other games as of right now.”