Courtesy of athletics.SJFC.edu
ITHACA, N.Y. – Sophomore pitcher RJ Kuruts pitched seven shutout innings on Sunday as the St. John Fisher College baseball team took the final game of a three-game set against Ithaca by a score of 2-0. With the win, Fisher improved to 18-9 on the season and 4-3 in the Empire 8 while the Bombers concluded the week at 19-6 overall and 12-2 against conference opposition.
Kuruts turned in a career performance on the mound as the righty scattered just five hits overall and finished with six strikeouts. Kuruts did not walk a batter in the game. Tim Geissel was called upon to close the game out and notched his third save after hurling two innings and surrendering just one hit.
Both teams were locked in a pitchers’ duel as neither allowed a run through the first six innings of play. In the top of the seventh, Fisher finally broke through with one run on two hits to hold a slight lead. Thomas Pasquale led off the frame with a single through the left side and moved to second on an infield ground out to third. With a runner in scoring position and two outs, Ryan Simmons (Victor) pushed the go-ahead run across home plate with a single the opposite way before the Bombers could get off the field.
Holding a one-run lead in the home half of the seventh, Fisher found itself facing a bases-loaded jam, but Kuruts answered the challenge and struck out back-to-back hitters to preserve the lead heading to the eighth.
As the innings changed, Ryan Brown (Brighton) stepped in the box in the top of the eighth and afforded the Cardinals some breathing room after the senior clubbed a solo home run to make it 2-0.
Ahead by a pair of runs late in the game, Geissel worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth before inducing a game-ending double play in the ninth to cap the conference win.
In all, Fisher had eight hits in the win with Antony Mantova going 3-for-4 overall. Simmons, Brown, Pasquale, Michael Beimel and Justin Graham (Webster Schroeder) each finished with one hit on the day.
The Cardinals will step out of conference play at 4 p.m. on Tuesday when they head to Brockport to tangle with the Golden Eagles in a nine-inning bout.