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Devils sweep en route to SUNYAC play
Monday, April 27, 2015

Devils sweep en route to SUNYAC play

Fredonia went into its weekend series at Oneonta needing to win two of three games to make the 2015 SUNYAC Baseball Tournament.

The Blue Devils did themselves one better Saturday by sweeping the Red Dragons in a doubleheader, 10-5 and 11-8. Fredonia also won the series opener Friday.

As the No. 4 seed, the Blue Devils face a stiff challenge in their opening-round game -- a noon meeting Friday with host Cortland, not only the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC but also No. 1 in all of NCAA Division III baseball, according to the national coaches poll.

The double-elimination SUNYAC Tournament runs through next Sunday.

For all intents and purposes, the Blue Devils (13-17 overall / 8-10 SUNYAC) nailed down their spot in the conference tourney by winning the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. That eliminated Oneonta and closed out Plattsburgh, the other two teams which went into the weekend seeking the final playoff spot.

A grand slam homer by junior Dan Cecilia (Utica, N.Y. / Whitesboro) capped a five-run first inning by the Blue Devils, a deficit from which Oneonta was unable to cover. Cecilia and sophomore Michael Prentice (West Seneca, N.Y. / St. Francis) each finished with two hits while senior Ricky Mendiola (Williamsville, N.Y. / Williamsville South) and sophomore Ciro Frontale (Syracuse, N.Y. / Bishop Ludden) each had two RBI. Redshirt junior Zachary Jordan (Akron, N.Y. / Akron) used the early run support to his advantage and worked all seven innings for his sixth win of the season.

The teams combined for 15 runs in the first two innings of the second game with Fredonia emerging from the dust with an 8-7 lead. A two-run double by Frontale capped a six-run Fredonia second inning, which was fueled by two Oneonta errors. The Blue Devils added two insurance runs in the sixth on RBI singles by junior Kyle Sherman (North Collins, N.Y. / North Collins) and senior Kenny Johnston (Buffalo, N. Y. / Kenmore West). Johnston also delivered an RBI hit in the ninth.

Quinn Danahy (Buffalo, N.Y. / Bishop Timon), a junior, led Fredonia's 13-hit attack with three singles. Johnston, Frontale, and senior Ryan Carmody (Montgomery, N.Y. / Valley) had two hits each, while Cecilia had two more RBI. Freshman right-hander Kyle Smith (Scottsville, N.Y. / Wheatland Chili) picked up the pitching win with 6 1/3 innings of solid relief -- two runs allowed on four hits. Freshman right-hander Bailey Gauthier (Camillus, N.Y. / West Genesee) picked up his second save of the season.

Fredonia will be returning to the SUNYAC Tournament after a one-year absence. They came one inning away from making the 2013 championship game in their last appearance. But fiirst, the Blue Devils close out their regular season with a single game Wednesday against Penn State Behrend. Game time at Ludwig Field is 3 p.m.

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