PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State baseball team’s chances of making the SUNY Athletic Conference Tournament are slim at best.
The Cardinals (10-20, 5-10) will need a lot of things to go their way this weekend.
Plattsburgh closes out its conference regular season with a three-game set at Oswego (18-8, 9-6).
“We have to win all three games and get some help,” Plattsburgh coach Kris Doorey said. “The only team we hold a tie-breaker edge over is Fredonia.”
The Cardinals and Lakers tangle this afternoon in a 1 p.m. doubleheader and then in a noon single game on Saturday.
“We have to play (today’s) games like they’re the seventh game of the World Series,” Doorey said. “We have to do whatever we have to do to win.”
Beating Oswego won’t be an easy task. Cortland has already wrapped up the SUNYAC regular season title with a 13-2 mark and the Red Dragons’ lone two losses thus far in the conference were 9-5 and 5-3 setbacks to the Lakers.
Oswego is having a solid season and six players, with 40 at-bats or more, are hitting .300 or better, led by Scott Buniak (.398).
Brendyn Karinchak (4-1 record, 1.73 earned-run-average) has been the best of the Lakers’ pitchers. Karinchak, however, pitched on Wednesday in a 4-3 nonconference win over nationally-ranked Ithaca College.
“Oswego has already clinched a playoff spot and Karinchak pitched on Wednesday,” Doorey said. “So, we’re not likely to see him.
“Oswego has good pitching and they swing the bats well. They are an offensively-minded team and will be aggressive. It’s going to come down to what team makes the fewest mistakes and takes advantage of their chances.”
Joe Leddy (3-1, 2.22 ERA), J.D. Jenkins (2-4, 2.61 ERA) and Will Flynn (2-4, 3.62 ERA) have been the Cardinals’ most effective pitchers. Plattsburgh’s pitching has been solid, for the most part, in conference play.
Where the Cardinals have struggled the most is scoring runs. Plattsburgh has had more than 10 hits in its last three games, but two have been losses.
Nicholas Lupo (.318), Frank Buksa (.310) and Yuya Osawa (.304) are the leading hitters for Plattsburgh.
“Offensively, we need to find a way to score some runs,” Doorey said. “We were aggressive on the bases on Wednesday (in an 11-7 loss to St. Lawrence University) and need to stay aggressive.
“We’ve been swinging the bats better and hope to continue to do so. But we have to turn hits into runs.”