Offensive Woes Spoil Opening Day for Wildcats
Leesburg, FL - The Cazenovia College Baseball team dropped an opening day doubleheader to Mount Saint Joseph University by scores of 8-0 and 6-1 on Saturday. The Wildcats opened their nine-game swing in Florida at the RussMatt Invitational with the two games against the Mount.
In game one, a walk, single, double and a trio of Wildcats errors gave Mount Saint Joseph's a 3-0 lead following the first frame. Junior left-hander Tom DeBernardis struck out two of the final Mount hitters in the first to get Cazenovia out of the jam and then rolled through the next 13 batters without surrendering a hit and striking out 4 more to keep the score at 3-0. DeBernardis finished the game with a line of 4 IP, 2 hits, 2 earned runs, 6 strikeouts and 4 walks. The Wildcats threatened in the third, loading the bases with one out following a Chris Williams single, a walk by Jack Young and single by junior transfer Brent Baker; however Lions starter Brandon Polking struck out the next hitter and induced an infield pop up to end the inning. With the game still in play, junior reliever Jake Bryant took over for DeBernardis in the top of the fourth to face the Mount's three-hitter, Ronald Cotton, and the heart of the Mount Saint Joseph order. Bryant came out firing and following a ground out to short and fly out to right, had two outs in the inning before surrendering back to back walks. With the Wildcats in trouble, sophomore reliever Kevin Fitzgerald came on two strike out the final batter of the inning to strand two base runners. With the score still 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Mount Saint Joseph's broke the game open as the first four batters reached base including a RBI fielder's choice by Zac Wagner to bring the score to 4-0. With the sacks jacked, former 45th round draft pick Ron Cotton blasted a grand slam to deep right-center to build the 8-0 lead. Freshman reliever Anthony Basciano came in to the game with one down and the bases clear and battled the next four batters, allowing one hit but no runs to escape the inning. With the game seemingly out of reach in the 7th, Cazenovia mounted an attempt to jump on the scoreboard by loading the bases with three free passes before Mount closer Drew Ernst sealed the 8-0 win. Brent Baker finished 2-4 while Chris Williams and a pair of freshman, Jack Young and Dan Crozier all reached base twice during the game.
In game two of the doubleheader, Wildcats senior staff-ace Zach Levanduski mowed through the first 27 Mount batters, allowing a single run through six innings and striking out 8. Mount Saint Joseph's starter Chase Stevens went pitch for pitch with Levanduski after a terrific double play helped him escape a one-out, bases loaded jam in the first following singles by Baker, Matt Nestopoulos and Levanduski. The Mount earned its first run on a bases loaded walk in the top of the second inning and Cazenovia answered two innings later when Dan Hodne blasted a sacrifice fly to center to score Levanduski in the bottom of the fourth. Tied at 1-1 through six, Mount Saint Joseph broke the game wide open against Wildcats relievers Casey MacClaren and Mike Makara to take a 6-1 lead. A pinch-hit single by Jack Young in the 7th was all Cazenovia could muster as the Mount took home its second win of the season. Levanduski finished the game with a line of 6 innings pitched, 4 hits allowed, 1 earned run, 8 strikeouts against 5 walks,
Following the doubleheader Cazenovia sits at 0-2 while Mount Saint Joseph is 2-1-1 overall.