The men’s baseball team’s season has come to an end, with a finish that is surely disappointing for many.
After being eliminated from playoff contention last week, the Fredonia men’s baseball team still had things to play for as they were set to take on I-90 rivals Penn St. Behrend before taking on SUNYAC opponent Plattsburgh State in a three game road series.
Penn St. Behrend came into Ludwig Field and looked to take back the I-90 cup from Fredonia. Behrend came out in the first inning and scored three runs to set the tone early before Fredonia countered with a four run fourth inning.
Junior Derek Fie had a home run in the fourth inning and it looked as if, up 7-3, Fredonia would keep hold of the cup, but Behrend would take control in the next two innings. They scored seven runs in the next two innings to take the lead and stretch it to 10-7, and would take the game and the cup 15-7.
This win puts the all-time series record at three wins apiece, and Penn St. Behrend also took back the cup after Fredonia had taken the cup from them following a 8-2 win a couple of weeks back.
After this loss, the Blue Devils had to head to Plattsburgh State for their final SUNYAC series of the year. In the first game of the series, Fredonia had a lead late, but blew it and lost 6-4. Sophomore Luke Kuczewski went seven strong innings, but gave up four runs and took the loss. After allowing a run in the third, Fredonia came back with two runs a piece in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-2 lead.
Plattsburgh would rally with three runs in the seventh inning and would add an insurance run in the eighth to take this conference affair. Fredonia was led by sophomore Kevin Yirinec who had an RBI triple and a couple of walks. Alexio Medina also had a hit and two stolen bases in the losing effort.
In Game 2 of the series, the first game of a doubleheader, Fredonia would come out slow and Plattsburgh would take advantage. They scored runs in the first three innings and held the Blue Devils to four hits as Fredonia was shut out 9-0 in a seven-inning game.
Fredonia committed five errors in the game, while Plattsburgh committed none and had nine runs on 12 hits. After allowing a run in each of the first two innings, Fredonia starter Ben Atkinson would allow an RBI single and then a two RBI double that pushed the deficit to 5-0 and would spell the end of the day for Atkinson who only went three innings.
The second half of the doubleheader would be the last game of the season for the Blue Devils. Like many of their games this year, it was close until the end, but Fredonia couldn’t pull out a win. Trying to upset Plattsburgh’s senior night, Fredonia would get on the board first with an RBI single by freshman Joseph Coene.
That lead wouldn’t last, however, as Plattsburgh would respond the next inning with four runs off of starter Zach Lyman. An error would cost the Blue Devils a run in that inning and led to the big inning. Fredonia committed three errors in this game, which were enough for Plattsburgh to take advantage.
Fredonia would get a run back in the third after a Patrick Sheehan triple, but after that, the offense went ice cold and couldn’t find a rhythm. Plattsburgh starter Connor Lyons after the third inning settled down and went seven strong innings before turning it over to their closer Justin Adams, who went two scoreless innings for the save.
In his final game with the Blue Devils, senior Liam Kelly led the way going 3-4 with two runs scored.
Fredonia finishes the season 16-20 with a 5-13 record in the SUNYAC conference. Coach Matt Palisin is already thinking about next year and the potential for a bounce back year.
“We have one more week of practice and the returning players will start to hit the weight room this week,” he said. “We have a great recruiting class coming and we want to get stronger and be able to drive the ball more.”
When asked about the close losses this season, Palisin says it’s a part of the game.
“You win some and you lose some. It’s frustrating, but it should be something that motivates them,” he said.