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Baseball team goes in as underdog leaves as victor

by Carson Werner - Staff Writer
Tue, Apr 17th 2018 08:00 pm

If there was one team the Brockport Golden Eagles wanted to beat this year, it would have to be the Oswego Lakers. After harsh weather forced the cancellation of the SUNYAC Baseball Championship last year and granted Oswego the crown, Brockport ended up finishing third in the conference.

Unable to get its shot at the title, The Golden Eagles had something to prove last year but unfortunately failed to secure the opportunity to show it. Brockport knows that it is capable of winning a SUNYAC Baseball Championship. After last weekend’s bout with Oswego, the team might have put up its best argument yet for why it deserves that elusive crown.

The series between Brockport and Oswego consisted of three crucial games. Going into the first game, Brockport had a conference record of 6 – 5 compared to Oswego’s record of 8 – 1.

The first matchup was controlled by Oswego from start to finish. After initially opening scoring in the second game, Brockport proceeded to be outscored 13-2 in the first six innings. Although each team had 10 hits apiece, Oswego was able to string its hits together and put the ball in play when runners were in scoring position. With three errors and a less than adequate outing by Brockport, bouncing back seemed a near impossible feat, especially when the next game was just hours away. But the Golden Eagles turned themselves around, stepped up to the plate, and showed Oswego why they should not be repeating champs.

The following game was one of the double headers. Brockport had one of its most seasoned players on the mound to start. Sam McCumiskey, senior pitcher and Brockport ace, threw the first pitch of the game and the last en route to a complete game victory over the Lakers. The team only up four hits and one run over the course seven innings, McCumiskey did not need much offensive support to finish off game two of the three game series. In the second inning, Brockport was able to capitalize on two infield errors which allowed them to take an early 2-0 lead. The next hit to be registered occurred in the top of the fifth when Brockport’s catcher Justin Valentino, lead off with a triple and was driven in on a four-bagger by outfielder Tom Kretzler. Oswego managed to get one run across the plate in the last inning but surmounted to nothing after McCumiskey closed it out.

The final game of the series featured the scoring ability of the Brockport batters. Concluding with 14 hits and 11 runs, Oswego stood no chance against the onslaught, dropping the game 11 – 6 and reducing its conference record to 9 – 3. Up until the seventh inning, Oswego had yet to score a run, as it faced an 8-0 deficit. The Brockport offense was led by Kretzler and infielder Lou Miceli, both having a homerun in the game and accounting for half of the team’s total points. Oswego was able to put together two, three-run innings in the latter part of the game to make the loss look more respectable.

“Senior pitcher Jimmy Lovelass and I were talking the other day before the Oswego trip,” McCumiskey said. “We have both been here at Brockport for some time, and we both agreed there is always one series each year that turns our season around and gets us going in the right direction. No doubt this weekend’s series win over nationally ranked Oswego was the turning point. Brockport baseball is hot moving into the tail end of the season and looking forward to a deep playoff run.”

Brockport showed up to Oswego hoping to prove that it should not be taken lightly in playoffs. Mission accomplished. Oswego currently has six conference games left in the regular season and Brockport has four remaining. If the Lakers drop three of the six and Brockport wins all, there will be a tie for the second spot in the SUNYAC standings. Despite being down in the beginning of the year while Oswego excelled, Brockport is making its comeback just in time for the SUNYAC Championship.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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