AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Endicott baseball team handed No. 1 Cortland St. their first loss of the 2016 season via an 8-3 decision at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Sophomore left-handed starter Will Ferreira (Nantucket, Mass.) made his first collegiate start and tossed five innings with six strikeouts to earn a premiere victory for the Endicott baseball program.
A seven-run, bottom of the fourth for Endicott shifted momentum dramatically in the Gulls favor as they saw freshman first baseman Chris Seidl (Dracut, Mass.) tie the game with an liner off the glove of a diving Cortland St. shortstop that allowed senior outfielder Matthew Paola (Middlebury, Conn.) to score from third. Two batters later, a two-RBI single to center off the bat of senior centerfielder Corbin Hyde (Lewiston, Maine) broke the tie and a Red Dragon miscue on a sacrifice bunt allowed another runner to score making it 4-1 Endicott. Later in the bottom of the fourth after a Cortland St. pitching change for starter Jason Martin (Turin, N.Y.), Endicott tacked on three more runs on a Cam Farnham (Andover, Mass.) fielder's choice grounder to short with the bases loaded that allowed Hyde to score from third and a towering shot to the gap in right center for Paola that resulted in a two-RBI triple. The Gulls held a 7-1 lead after four innings of play.
Ferreira with one earned run allowed and six strikeouts entering the top of the sixth, allowed a leadoff triple by junior centerfielder Nick Hart (Fredonia, N.Y.) who scored on a wild pitch to the next batter. Ferreira's sixth hit allowed in the game, a single to Connor Griffin (Cortland, N.Y.), forced a pitching change as the Gulls turned to senior righty Davarn Nova (Buzzards Bay, Mass.). Nova saw Griffin make his way around the bases on a wild pitch and a groundout to the right side before eventually scoring as junior first baseman Sean Getman (Oneonta, N.Y.) hit a RBI groundout to short.
Paola added a RBI infield single in the bottom of the sixth to plate sophomore Michael DeDonato (Chelmsford, Mass.) and finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBI, a run scored, and a walk.
Nova would escape a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning but set down the final seven batters he faced with two strikeouts. He earned his first save of the season and seventh of his career.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Today was the third all-time meeting between Endicott and Cortland St.. Their two previous meetings came in last year's RussMatt Invitational when the Red Dragons were ranked third in the country and narrowly swept the Gulls 2-1 and 8-7.
- This is Endicott's first win over a team ranked No. 1 in a national poll.
- Endicott's last win over a ranked opponent was in 2015, a 2-1 road win over No. 20 Southern Maine.
- DeDonato, who was listed on D3Baseball.com's Team of the Week today, went 1-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and his third stolen base of the season.
- Along with Paola, Seidl also had a multi-hit day with a 3-for-4 effort at the dish with a run and a RBI.
- Nova started for Endicott on Sunday's second game versus Franklin & Marshall and took the loss after going 1 1/3 innings. He pitched four innings against Cortland allowing just one inherited runner to score in the top of the sixth.
FOR THE FOES
- Cortland's sophomore left fielder Ralph Nuzzi (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) was his team's only player with multiple hits in the game.
- The Red Dragons, after using six pitchers in last night's 22-20 win over Rutgers-Camden, tapped into four more pitchers on Tuesday against Endicott. Cortland St. lefty Kashaun Curry (Middletown, N.Y.) tossed two scoreless frames and junior lefty Ryan Smith (Hancock, N.Y.) pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth.
Endicott (3-2) has an off day Wednesday before returning to action on Thursday, March 17th against William Paterson. First pitch is 9:15 a.m. from Lake Myrtle Main Field.