Sunday, 20 May 2018 20:36

Late Inning Surges Pushes Oswego Baseball Into Regional Final

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Late Inning Surges Pushes Oswego Baseball Into Regional Final Supplied photo

The second-seeded Oswego State baseball team upended top-seeded UMass Boston 11-4 with a late-inning surge on Saturday afternoon at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. With the victory, the Lakers (29-12) advance to the NCAA New England Regional championship round and need just one more win to secure their place in next week's College World Series in Appleton, Wisc.

Trailing 3-2 after the teams traded blows in the fifth inning, Oswego exploded for four runs in the seventh, two runs in the eighth and three runs in the ninth to run away with the win. For the second time this week, the Lakers struck their best blow with two outs and no runners on base. Ryan Enos started the rally with a single through the left side. Brandon Nicholson followed with a single to left field to bring up the heart of Oswego's order. The heart delivered, first with an interesting at-bat from Mike Dellicarri. The junior was hit on top of his foot but the umpire did not see the play. It left Dellicarri at the dish with the defense shading heavily for a pull, and he slashed a ball to the opposite field, plating both Enos and Nicholson to regain a lead the Lakers never would relinquish.

Oswego was not done, however, as clean-up hitter John Barnes followed Dellicarri's lead with a double of his own to left center, driving in his teammate. Barnes' senior classmate Myles Kutscher continued the spurt with a single to left, chasing Barnes home for a 6-3 Laker advantage.

After a solo-shot by the Beacons to close out the seventh, Zach Whelan answered with a blast over the left field fence with Lukas Olsson on the base paths. It was Whelan's second-career home run, both coming in the last month in the postseason, as the senior previously hit a three-run shot against Cortland in the SUNYAC Championship.

In the ninth, the Lakers wasted no time as Dellicarri drilled the first pitch of the frame over the right center field fence. On the heels of the homer, Barnes singled to short and stole second and third base before Kutscher notched an RBI-single to left center. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Whelan skied a sacrifice fly to left, allowing Eli Holton to tag and score.

The Lakers reached the scoreboard first on Saturday, as Olsson scored on an Enos sacrifice fly and Whelan crossed home on a wild pitch with a swim-move slide to avoid the tag in the top of the fifth.

On the mound, junior Brian Nolan had a solid outing, picking up the victory to move to 7-2 on the year. Nolan threw 6.0 innings, allowing just three runs, all coming in the bottom of the fifth. He scattered eight hits on the day and fanned five Beacon batters. Senior Mike Abrams tossed the final three frames to earn his first save of the year. Abrams surrendered just one run on three hits to close the game.

A 12 p.m. game on Sunday will determine the Lakers' opponent in a game that will immediately follow. Oswego's game is tentatively scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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