Courtesy of Athletics.sjfc.edu
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The nationally-ranked St. John Fisher College baseball team took both ends of a doubleheader on Friday afternoon to advance in the Empire 8 Championship after sweeping fourth-seeded Keuka College at Dugan Yard. With the wins, Fisher, which is ranked 23rd in the latest D3baseball.com national poll, improved to 29-5 while the Wolves had their season come to an end at 6-16-1.
FISHER 10, KEUKA 1
The Cardinals had it going early as Justin Graham singled in the bottom of the first before Adam Zebrowski, who was named to D3baseball.com’s National Team of the Week on Tuesday, drove him in with a single to short to give the home team to a one-run lead.
Following a scoreless second inning, Fisher doubled its advantage in the bottom of the third when Zebrowski stepped in with a runner on and poked a single up the middle to plate a run and make it 2-0.
The lead would grow to four runs in the fourth as James Murphy, who was named the National Rookie of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Wednesday, reached first after being hit by a pitch and came around to score on an error by the Wolves’ infield. As the inning continued, Noah Campanelli plated Patrick Kravitz with an RBI groundout before Keuka could retire the side.
Fisher blew the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth with one swing of the bat as Graham crushed a three-run home run to right field to make it 7-0 before the Wolves got one back in the top of the eighth to cut the gap to six runs.
Holding a 7-1 edge, Fisher tacked on three more runs with four more hits in the home half of the inning as Brian Norsen, Zebrowski and Murphy each picked up an RBI to give the Cardinals a 10-1 cushion.
Anthony Brophy was sharp on the hill and moved to 7-0 on the season after the North Tonawanda native gave head coach Brandon Potter eight strong innings. Brophy yielded just one run on four hits and finished with 12 strikeouts. Michael Poirier closed out the game with a perfect ninth as the righty notched two strikeouts.
Graham was 4-for-4 with three RBI in the win along with four runs scored while Zebrowski was 3-for-5 with three RBI. Luke Duffy had three hits in the win while Norsen was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
FISHER 20, KEUKA 8
After jumping out to a 3-0 lead through an inning play courtesy of a three-run home run from Zebrowski, Fisher found itself in a one-run hole through three innings after Keuka plated a run in the second followed by five more in the top of the third.
The lead would be short-lived for the Wolves, however, as Fisher scored twice in the fourth and tacked on six more runs in the bottom of the sixth with Graham and Norsen each driving in a pair to make it 13-6 heading to the seventh.
Up by seven, Fisher saw its advantage shrink to five with Keuka scoring two runs on five hits, but the Wolves were unable to throw up a zero in the home half of the frame with Fisher accounting for six more runs on six hits including a two-run triple by Duffy to make it 19-8.
With the game well in hand, Fisher scored its 20th run of the game in the bottom of the eighth when Kravitz lifted a solo home run into the Cardinals’ bullpen before the Wolves could get off the field.
In all, Fisher mashed 24 hits led by Duffy who was a double shy of the cycle after going 5-for-6 with four RBI and four runs scored. James Ward, Jr. was 4-for-6 with two runs driven in while Norsen had three hits in seven at-bats with three RBI to his credit. Campanelli had three hits in the win while Murphy, Ryan Simmons, Graham and Kravitz each collected two hits overall.
RJ Kuruts moved to 10-1 on the year after allowing six runs on eight hits over six innings. He fanned nine in the win before giving way to Hunter Walsh who was tagged for two runs on five hits in an inning of work. Alec Teska tossed the final two innings and recorded five strikeouts.
The Cardinals will host a best two-out-of-three series at Dugan Yard beginning at 12 p.m. on Friday for the Empire 8 Championship.