FSU rallies late, downs Brockport 4-3

Fredonia State rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and claimed a 4-3 victory over Brockport in SUNYAC baseball Thursday afternoon at Ludwig Field.

John Bennett drew a bases-loaded walk following an RBI single by Matt Casilio. Both runs scored with two outs.

Zachary Jordon pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to improve to 3-0. The Blue Devils improved to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

The loss dropped the Golden Eagles to 10-9 overall and 1-6 in the SUNYAC.

Sean Larson started for the Blue Devils and pitched into the eighth inning. At one point, he retired 11 straight batters, and left in line to pick up the win with one out in the eighth. He was accountable for three runs, only one of them earned, on five hits and three walks. He struck out four.

Jordon inherited runners on the corners with Brockport’s clean-up hitter Nick Bunce coming to the plate. Bunce threatened to break the game open when he drove a ball deep to straightaway left field. Bennett, a converted shortstop, backpedaled and reached up over the top of the fence to make the catch.

On the play, Jake Coleman tagged up at third and scored to put Brockport on top 4-3. The inning ended when the Brockport runner at first strayed too far and Blue Devil catcher Brian Sheehan picked him off with a throw to first followed by a rundown.

Sheehan led off the Fredonia State eighth with a sharp single to center, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Dillon Lowe. Brockport right-handed starter James Hardenett then walked Ian Gallagher and Kenny Johnston to load the bases.

Hardenett gave way to right-handed reliever Justin McCarthy, who was greeted rudely when Casilio singled through the hole between first and second to score the tying run. Bennett worked a full count before walking and forcing in the go-ahead run.

Jordon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the game.

The Blue Devils built a 2-0 lead with one run each in the third and fourth innings. After Connor Lorenzo reached on an error, Sheehan brought him home with a double to center for the first run.

Gallagher made a diving catch to end the Brockport fourth inning, then walked to lead off the last of the fourth. He advanced to second when he tagged up on a medium-depth foul fly to right, and scored on a single by Bennett.

Larson retired 11 straight batters until Brockport’s Mike Weakley singled with one out in the seventh. Zack Lander followed with a single to right and advanced to second on a mishandled relay throw as Weakley was advancing into third.

Wesley Burghardt lined a two-out, two-run single to left to tie the score at 2-2.

The win for the third straight for the Blue Devils, who’ll take on Pitt-Bradford in a non-conference doubleheader Saturday at Ludwig Field. Game one is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.