After three and a half hours of a back-and-forth struggle, the finality of it was a bit jolting. Cortland High’s baseball season was over.
Visiting 11th seed New Hartford scored five runs in the top of the 12th inning Wednesday and beat the No. 7 Purple Tigers 11-6 on Greg’s Field, the hosts’ second loss in the double elimination phase of the Section 3 Class A tournament. CHS finished the season at 10-9 while the Spartans (7-13) were to visit top-seeded Jamesville-DeWitt today after the Red Rams were upset 5-4 by No. 12 Camden Wednesday.
The Spartans’ game-winning inning started when Evan Strassberger doubled to left with one out before David Antone and Tyler Moran walked to load the bases. Vinny Perrotta then lashed a two-run single to left before reliever Jake Prunier, who took the mound loss, hit Joe Murray with a pitch to reload the bases. A groundout by pinch-hitter Jared Longo scored Moran, and an infield error on a grounder by Andrew Circelli brought home the final two runs of the game prior to a groundout to end the frame.
Cortland managed one baserunner in the bottom of the 12th as Alex Babcock was hit by a pitch, but an infield popout ended the game.
New Hartford wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, scoring two runs in the first off CHS starter Zach Travis. Derek Rodgers singled to center with one out before Sean McGlynn singled to right and Strassberger was hit by a pitch. Antone then singled to left to drive in Rodgers and McGlynn before two flyouts ended the inning.
Cortland took its only lead of the game with a three-run third. Alex Morgan led off with a single to center, Jake VanGorder coming on as a pinch-runner. One out later, VanGorder went to second on a passed ball before Seth Crosby and Jake Prunier walked to load the bases. James Lane singled to left to score VanGorder and keep the bases loaded, and Babcock then cracked a two-run double to left, Lane out at the plate trying to score before a flyout ended the inning.
The Spartans tied it back up in the sixth on a two-out solo home run to left by Antone and went ahead with a run in the eighth. Rodgers led off with a single, Ryan Brooks coming in as a pinch-runner and going to second on a groundout before scoring one out later when a grounder by Antone was mishandled.
CHS stayed alive with a run in the bottom of the eighth. Crosby walked again to lead off the inning and went to second one out later on a single to right by Lane. Duff Steve then singled to right to score Crosby and send Lane to third with the potential winning run, but he was stranded there by an inning-ending popup.
Circelli led off what would be a two-run New Hartford 11th with a double to center and went to third on a groundout before McGlynn was hit by a pitch. Strassberger singled to left to score Circelli and one out later Moran singled to left to bring McGlynn home.
Again facing elimination, Cortland was again up to the task in the bottom of the 10th as Prunier was hit by a pitch and Lane homered to left to make it a 6-6 game.
Antone went 2-for-5 with the homer, three RBIs and two runs scored for New Hartford, which had 12 hits in all. Strassberger was 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run while Perrotta went 2-for-6 with two RBIs and a run, Rodgers was 2-for-7 with a run and McGlynn singled and scored twice.
Lane went 3-for-7 with the homer, three RBIs and a run for the Purple Tigers. Babcock (three doubles, two RBIs) and Steve (RBI) both went 3-for-6 while Morgan went 2-for-5 and Crosby singled and scored twice.
Spartan reliever Nic Ronan was the winning pitcher, giving up three hits and two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Starter Danny Owen gave up 12 hits and four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and five walks.
Prunier allowed three hits and five runs, three of them earned, in 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Starter Zack Travis went a grueling 9 1/3 innings, surrendering nine hits and six runs, five earned, with five strikeouts and no walks.
Second-seeded Whitesboro beat No. 3 Fulton 3-1 in the other Class A winners’ bracket game Wednesday and will meet Camden at 1 p.m. Saturday at Onondaga CC with a spot in Monday’s 6 p.m. championship game on the same field at stake. Fulton was to go against No. 4 CBA in today’s other loser’s bracket game after the Brothers drubbed ninth-seeded Oswego 15-0 on Wednesday.