PLATTSBURGH — In “Groundhog Day,” each day is a repeat of the previous day for the main character in the movie.
The Plattsburgh State baseball team is living its own “Groundhog Day.”
The Cardinals, after 26 games away from home, played its first game of the season at Chip Cummings Field on Friday.
The results were the same, however, as Plattsburgh dropped another disheartening one-run conference game, this time a 1-0 decision to New Paltz in SUNY Athletic Conference play — severely damaging the Cardinals’ post-season hopes.
Plattsburgh’s last four losses in conference play have been by one-run margins.
“It’s frustrating to be where we are,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “I’m sure it’s frustrating for the players as well as the coaches.
“We’re struggling on offense and it’s like we expect something bad to happen. It’s a mentality where it’s like we’re thinking what bad is going to happen now instead of making something positive out of the situation.”
The Cardinals (9-18, 4-9) received strong pitching from Joe Leddy and made some nice defensive plays in the field. But Plattsburgh couldn’t get a runner to cross the plate against the Hawks’ Andrew Grann.
Grann allowed three hits, walked one, hit three and struck out seven in going the distance for the win. Leddy, meanwhile, surrendered four hits, walked one, hit one and fanned three in going the route.
“We hit some balls hard, especially early in the game,” Doorey said. “We hit them, however, right at people. But we still need to find a way to score.
“Joe pitched well and gave up only one run in a conference game. When that happens, we need to win the game.”
Grann allowed just two base runners over the first five innings — one on a walk and another on an infield error — before having to work out of trouble in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Cardinals had runners on first and third, with two out, in the sixth when Grann got a strikeout for the third out.
Then, in the seventh, two hit batsmen gave Plattsburgh runners on first and second, with nobody out. But the pinch runner at second was picked off and despite John Casten getting a base hit two batters later, the Cardinals weren’t able to score.
“It comes down to execution,” Doorey said. “In the sixth, we weren’t able to get a sacrifice bunt down and then Brian Latulipe had a two-out single.
“In the seventh, we had a guy picked off that helped take us out of the inning. We should know better than that because we have the same play. We got a hit later in the inning, but couldn’t score.”
New Paltz (13-17, 5-9) then tallied the game’s lone run in the top of the eighth. Richard Guido led off with a long triple and David Lostaglio followed with a drive into the gap between left and center that center fielder Luke Weaver made a nice running catch on for a sacrifice fly.
“They had one opportunity to score and took advantage of it,” Doorey said. “It really should have been a double instead of a triple if we had fielded the ball properly. I don’t know how the inning would have played out — if the runner was on second, they probably would have bunted him to third.”
Steven Morse, Chris Baltera, Andrew DiNardo and Guido had the lone hits for New Paltz, while Latulipe, Frank Buksa and Casten accounted for only hits for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals and Hawks play a doubleheader, starting at noon, today to close out the three-game weekend set.
New Paltz 1, Plattsburgh 0
New Paltz 000 000 010 — 1 4 1
Plattsburgh 000 000 000 — 0 3 1
Grann and DiNardo. Leddy and Casten. WP- Grann. LP- Leddy. 3B- Guido (NP).