December 5, 2021

CHS closed out by Spartans

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Cortland’s Zach Discenza tags out New Hartford’s Joe Murray at third base Wednesday at Greg’s Field.

The visiting ninth-seeded New Hartford baseball team did all of its scoring over the final three innings Wednesday in a 7-4 win over No. 8 Cortland High in a Section 3 Class A first-round game on Greg’s Field.

The Purple Tigers’ season ended with a 6-12 record, and the Spartans improved to that same 6-12 mark going into today’s visit to top-seeded Christian Brothers Academy (16-3) for a quarterfinal game.

CHS opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning. Nick Cody singled to center with one out and Jason Carr singled to right. A groundout moved each runner up a base before Cody scored on a dropped third strike that allowed Jake VanGorder to reach first. Carr went to third on the play and scored on a double steal, VanGorder caught for the third out.

New Hartford took the lead for good with a four-run fifth. Will Locke led off with a home run to center off Cortland starter Caleb Thompson before Ryan Brooks was hit by a pitch, Tyler Moran walked and Vinny Perrotta bunted and reached on an error to lead the bases. Brooks came home on a fielder’s choice by Rocco Fanelli to tie the score, and one out later Moran and Fanelli both scored on a double to right by Joe Murray.

Jordan Shortsleeve singled to left for Cortland with one out in the bottom of the fifth, went to third on a single to right by Jake Prunier and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Noah Barber to make it a 4-3 game.

New Hartford then scored twice in the top of the sixth to go up 6-3. Andrew Circelli led off with a double to center, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a single to right by Danny Owen.

Cody then came on in relief and got two outs, Owen stealing second and advancing to third on the second one, a groundout, before Moran brought him home with a single to center.

Circelli homered to left with two outs in the top of the seventh to make it 7-3 before Cortland went down swinging in the bottom of the inning. Cameron Woodward reached base on an error to start things off, went to second and third on passed balls sandwiched around a walk to VanGorder and scored on a fielder’s choice by Shortsleeve, who promptly stole second. Prunier was hit by a pitch and, after a groundout put runners on second and third, the Spartans’ Dean Langman closed out the complete-game win by getting a game-ending groundout.

Prunier went 2-for-3 for Cortland while Shortsleeve (RBI, run scored), Cody (run), Carr (run) and Morgan had one hit each. Thompson gave up six runs, three earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five-plus innings while Cody gave up an earned run, a pair of hits, struck out two batters and walked one.

Circelli went 2-for-4 with the double, homer, RBI and two runs and Murray went 2-for-3 with the double and two RBIs for New Hartford, Locke with the visitors’ other homer. Langman surrendered six hits and four runs, only one earned, with seven strikeouts and two walks in going the distance.