SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Oswego State junior John Barnes' single scored the lone run of the game, as the Lakers topped the Tufts baseball team 1-0 in NCAA Division III Baseball Championship Regional action at Onondaga Community College Friday afternoon.
With the loss the Jumbos see their 2017 season come to an end with a 30-10-1 record. Oswego State (30-8) advances to play the winner of the game between TCNJ and Southern Maine in Regional action tomorrow.
Friday's game was a pitcher's duel, as both Jumbo sophomore R.J. Hall, who took a no hitter into the fifth, and Laker Robert Donnelly were on top of their games and were able to keep their opponents scoreless.
The Jumbos got an early base runner as junior Tommy O'Hara drew a two out walk and then classmate Nick Falkson singled and advanced to second on the error by Barnes to give the Jumbos second and third with two outs in the bottom of the first. But, freshman Ryan Day grounded out to second base and things remained scoreless after one inning of play.
The Lakers had two aboard with two outs in the top of the second. Eli Holton walked and stole second. After Zach Whelan walked to give the Lakers first and second with two outs, Hall came up with a big strikeout, catching Lukas Olsson looking to get out of trouble.
Neither team was able to generate much offense for a bit. O'Hara led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, but after Falkson grounded into a double play, Day struck out to end the fourth.
With two outs in the top of the fifth Olsson singled to left field to break up Hall's no hitter. But that would be the only hit the Lakers got that inning, as Hall got Wes Randall to fly out to left to end any threat.
In the bottom half of the inning junior Mike McLaughlin singled to left to start the inning, and after a fly out by junior Malcolm Nachmanoff, McLaughlin tried to steal second but was thrown out by Olsson. Senior Tom Petry then walked, and the Jumbos tried to swipe second again, but a great throw by Olsson once again got the Lakers out of the inning.
Junior Christian Zazzali singled to start the bottom of the sixth and advanced to second after senior Oscar Kutch was hit by a pitch. Both Zazzali and Kutch advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, and the Jumbos had second and third with one out. But, Donnelly struck out O'Hara and got Falkson to ground out to third to keep the Jumbos off the board.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs sophomore John Moschella pinch hit for Nachmanoff and singled to give the Jumbos a base runner. But, Petry was retired on strikes to keep the game scoreless through seven.
Oswego would score the game's lone run in the top of the eighth as Randall walked, advanced to second on a passed ball and to third on a wild pitch. After Mike Dellicarri grounded out to first base, Barnes singled to center field to score Randall and give the Lakers the 1-0 lead.
Zazzali once again got things going for the Jumbos in the bottom of the eighth as he singled to third base. After a strike out and a fly out, O'Hara took advantage of a Laker error and was safe at first, and Zazzali advanced to third. Falkson hit it hard, but it was right back at the pitcher, and Donnelly ran the ball over to first base and got out of the jam with a little flip over to first to retire Falkson.
Hall worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth and the Jumbos were down to their last three outs in the bottom of the ninth. Day grounded out to the pitcher to start the bottom of the ninth. McLaughlin hit a ground ball right down the first baseline, but the ball hit him on the knee as he ran by, and the Jumbos were down to their last out. Moschella grounded out to second base to end the ninth.
Hall pitched well for the Jumbos, going the distance and surrendering four hits and four walks while striking out seven in the nine innings of work. His Laker counterpart, Donnelly, also pitched nine innings, giving up six hits and two walks, while striking out nine.
Zazzali was the only player in the game with more than one hit as he was 2-for-3. Moschella, O'Hara, Falkson and McLaughlin also collected a hit each for the Jumbos.