SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Oswego centerfielder Wes Randall went 4-for-5 including a two-out, walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the number-one seeded Lakers back for an 11-10 victory over sixth-seeded Ithaca in the opening game of the NCAA Division III New York Baseball Regional, hosted by Onondaga Community College.
Oswego (29-8) jumped out to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Randall earned a lead-off walk before third baseman Eric Hamilton reached after both runners were safe on a failed Bomber double-play attempt. A walk to designated hitter Mike Dellicarri loaded the bases before right fielder John Barnes doubled the first pitch he saw off the bottom of the center field wall to plate the first two runs of the game. Left fielder Eli Holton dropped a triple into the right-center field gap to bring Barnes around to finish the inning.
Ithaca (28-12) brought two across in the top of third. Left fielder Domenic Boresta reached on an Oswego fielding error before center fielder Matt Carey blooped a hit that fell between two Lakers in short center field. After a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Josh Savacool advanced the runners, first baseman Webb Little hit a flare that fell into fair territory just behind third base to score Boresta. Carey later came around to score on a sacrifice fly to center field by shortstop Trevor Thompson.
Ithaca then put together a three-run fifth inning. Savacool and Webb Little started the inning with back-to-back singles. A sacrifice bunt attempt by Thompson was gobbled up by Laker catcher Alex Brown, who threw out Savacool at third. However, right fielder Sam Little loaded the bases after reaching on a ball hit between first and second base that evaded diving Laker first baseman Kyle Dinges to load the bases. Third baseman Ryan Henchey followed by smacking a two-run double over the left fielder before designated hitter Andrew Bailey walked to load the bases. A sacrifice fly to right by catcher Adam Gallagher gave the Bombers a 5-3 lead.
Ithaca then made it an 8-3 game in the sixth. Savacool singled to center, but was forced out at second on a grounder by Webb Little. Thompson reached on a dropped fly ball to left field, before Sam Little drove a home run over the right field wall for the five-run edge.
Oswego responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, starting with a lead-off home run by second baseman Zach Kollar, who lined the first pitch he saw over the left field wall. Catcher Alex Brown knocked a two-out single to the left-centerfield wall and advanced to second on a wide throw from the outfield before Randall chased Ithaca starter Robby Buffis with an RBI single up the middle. Relief pitcher Chris Marinaccio hit Hamilton in the back before Dellicarri knocked an RBI single to right to score Randall and advance Hamilton to third. Hamilton scored on a wild pitch by Ithaca reliever Matt Eiel to make it a one-run game.
Ithaca tacked on two runs in the ninth inning. The Bombers put their first two runners on after a lead-off double down the right field line by Sam Little and a walk by Henchey. Little advanced to third after Bailey grounded into a double play and scored on a wild pitch with Gallagher in the box. Gallagher then deposited a solo-shot over the center field fence for the 10-7 lead.
Dellicari started off the decisive bottom half of the inning with a single to left field, but was forced out on a Barnes grounder to short. Holton walked before Kollar drew a base on balls off Bailey, who came in for relief. With the bases loaded, pinch hitter Josh Hoagland drew another walk to bring Barnes home, before advancing to second on a wild pitch to Dinges by Bomber reliever Tom Cosentino that also scored Holton. Dinges was then intentionally walked to re-load the bases. Bomber reliever Logan Barer struck out Brown for the second out, but Randall drove an 0-1 pitch to center field to plate Kollar and Hoagland for the deciding runs.
Oswego reliever Brian Nolan (4-1) earned the victory, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four over the final three innings.
Oswego will return to action on Friday (May 19) at 2:30 PM against the loser of today's third game between fourth-seeded Tufts and fifth-seeded The College of New Jersey. Ithaca will be back in action on Friday at 11:00 AM in an elimination game opposite Castleton, which fell to Southern Maine, 5-3, in the day's second game.