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Sweep earns Devils trip to tourney
Monday, May 02, 2016

Sweep earns Devils trip to tourney

Senior Quinn Danahy

The Fredonia baseball team clinched a SUNYAC playoff berth on Saturday winning 7-3 and 15-5 over Plattsburgh. They also needed help from rival Brockport. They needed the Eagles to sweep at New Paltz, and they completed the task with a 4-2 win in 12 innings.

In Game 1 Saturday, the Devils found themselves down 3-2 in the fifth before erupting for five runs. With one out and runners on the corners, senior Dan Cecilia singled in the tying run. A walk to junior Michael Prentice loaded the bases, and freshman Kevin Yirinec followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to plate the go-ahead run.

Back-to-back walks to sophomores Patrick Sheehan and Josh Crocetti plated the next run. Senior Kyle Sherman then smoked a ball through the third baseman for an error that scored the next two runs and gave Fredonia a 7-3 lead.

Sheehan and senior Quinn Danahy (Buffalo, N.Y./Bishop Timon-St. Jude) finished with two hits and Crocetti drove in a pair of runs. Sheehan also threw out three runners from behind the plate. Danahy has been named SUNYAC Baseball Player of the Week.

Freshman Luke Kuczewski started on the mound and went five innings to improve his record to 3-2. Sophomore Bailey Gauthier struck out three in one-plus innings of work, and junior Lucas Schaeffer relieved Gauthier with no outs and two runners on in the seventh. Schaefer struck out a pair to earn the save.

Game 2 was all Fredonia as they used a season-high 22 hits to score 15 runs. Danahy and Cecilia each had four hits. Both seniors were playing in their final SUNYAC game at Ludwig Field. Danahy completed the three-game set with 10 hits.

Prentice, Sheehan and Sherman each had three hits, while Danahy, Sherman and junior Liam Kelly drove in three runs apiece, with Sherman scoring four runs.

Zach Lyman earned the win in relief, going 2 1/3 innings and giving up one run. Matt Wilhelm pitched two scoreless to close out the game. Starting pitcher Carl Wolf, a senior, went 4 2/3 innings, giving up four earned runs.

"Our team battled back all season long," said head coach Matt Palisin. "To start the weekend, it was a long shot, needing us and Brockport to sweep, but we expected really big things from our team. They earned this opportunity. It was also great to see our seniors step up on Senior Day. Danahy, Cecilia and Sherman were dominant at the plate. The three of them combined for 15 hits today."

Fredonia improves to 20-18 overall and 9-9 in the SUNYAC. The Cardinals complete their season at 6-30, and 2-16 in the conference.

The Devils qualified for the SUNYAC Tournament for the third time in four years. As the No. 4 seed, they will take on the defending national champion and tournament host Cortland Red Dragons at noon on Friday. No. 2 Oswego opens with No. 3 Brockport, also on Friday.

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State University of New York at Fredonia